DA-CAR pilots digital distribution of rice program interventions in Apayao and Kalinga

BAGUIO CITY (PIA) — The Department of Agriculture – Cordillera (DA-CAR) has launched the digital distribution of rice program interventions in the provinces of Apayao and Kalinga.

The DA-CAR distributed intervention monitoring cards (IMC) to over 1,000 rice farmers in the two provinces recently. The IMC is equivalent to a cash card and an identification card for farmers. It forms part of the digitized process of distributing interventions to rice farmers.

DA-CAR agriculturist Miriam Pastor explained that the IMC serves as an e-wallet where farmers are given the right to choose what seeds, fertilizers, and soil ameliorants are suitable for their farms.

Direct na ang farmer ti agpili iti kayat na nga variety, kayat na nga biofertilizer, kayat na nga fertilizer, kayat na
nga soil ameliorant idjay accredited merchants ti DA,”  she said.

[The farmer will directly choose his/her preferred variety, biofertilizer, fertilizer and soil ameliorant from
accredited merchants of DA.]

DA-CAR agriculturists May Ann Tuba-ang [left] and Miriam Pastor [right] discuss the Rice Program during the Usapang PIA on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

The subsidy will be given to the farmers through the IMC. Once the farmer has claimed the intervention, the DA will pay the amount through e-banking, in partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines and Universal Storefront Services Corporation, Pastor explained.

The system ensures that every transaction is recorded, with every peso accounted for while warranting proof of
development reaching farmers. The system has real-time payouts, and has 24-7 information technology

It eliminates redundant paperworks giving DA more time to provide technical support to the farmers.

The IMC contains basic information such as the beneficiaries’ name, photo, QR code, Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) number, and e-wallet card, hence, it is expected to enhance the DA’s distribution process while ensuring no leakages.

The DA-CAR also continues to encourage farmers to cluster or organize themselves into a group doing similar business-type activities.

Pastor said they target rice clusters which they can inject interventions to have the optimum returns for the production of rice in the region.

“We have to empower these clusters to engage into business. We are encouraging clusters to go into entrepreneurship para isuda ti agbalin nga merchant tayo on the ground. Sila na rin ang magbebenta ng seeds and fertilizers dun sa kanilang miyembro.”

Pastor also encouraged farmers to register with the RSBSA, a registry of farmers, fisherfolk, and farm laborers that serves as a targeting mechanism for the identification of beneficiaries for different agriculture-related programs and services of the government.

Pastor is optimistic for the continuous successful implementation of the IMC or the digitalized mode of distribution of interventions to rice farmers. (JDP/DEG-PIA CAR)

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