Representatives from 17 government institutions and four Leyte mayors sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in support of the Farmers Assistance for Recovery and Modernization (FARM) Project. (JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA)

TACLOBAN CITY– The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Eastern Visayas joined other government institutions on February 21 this year in expressing support to the Farmers Assistance for Recovery and Modernization (FARM) Project, which primarily aims to address the price of rice.

As a gesture of support, DAR Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu together with representatives from the Department of Agriculture (DA), National Food Authority (NFA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Technical Education and Skill Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Health (DOH), National Irrigation Authority (NIA), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Visayas State University (VSU), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), BPI, Tingog Partylist and the Office of the House Speaker, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday(Feb.21) afternoon at the NEDA Regional Office in Palo, Leyte.

Other signatories to the MOU are the mayors from the municipalities of Palo, Sta. Fe, Alangalang, and San Miguel, all in the province of Leyte, where the project will be pilot tested.

Sofonias Gabonada Jr., Deputy Secretary General of the Office of the House Speaker, explained that FARM Project is an initiative of the office of Speaker Martin Romualdez designed to lower the price of rice by utilizing and maximizing existing government interventions available to farmers.

He added that this is in response to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s call to identify creative solutions and mechanisms for a more robust rice industry.

Meanwhile, Meylene Rosales, NEDA-8 Regional Director, said, “This is a reason to celebrate as this (project) will serve as a silver lining,” as she believes FARM Project is one way to develop the agriculture sector.