President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. urged the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) to persist the legacy of their founding members by embodying the federation’s mission and to “continuously take part in supporting and empowering our farmers and fisherfolk.”

“I urge all members of the FFF to keep the legacy of the founding members, keep it alive, stay true to your mission of uplifting all the lives of every Filipino rural worker,” the President said during the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of FFF on Wednesday.

The President acknowledged the “seven fruitful decades” of the FFF’s partnership with the government in ensuring the continuous development of agri sector.

“We celebrate the seven fruitful decades of your long-standing cooperation and partnership with the government in sustaining development in the areas of agri-fisheries, agrarian reform, and agricultural cooperatives, among others,” the President said.

President Marcos lauded the federation for their programs and initiatives that strengthen the voice of various workers all over the country which also reflected the principle of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. of advancing social reform and rural development in the country.

“Through your programs and initiatives, you have effectively elevated and empowered the voices of our small farmers, fisherfolk, and rural workers, across the nation,” the President said.

“This noble pursuit is the very essence of what my father, President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., strongly believed in, which I believe I have certainly inherited. This is why it’s worth recalling how we championed the cause of the Federation of Free Farmers and expressed his unwavering support for this organization,” he added. 

The chief executive reaffirmed that the enhancement of the nation’s agricultural productivity is  one of the administration’s top priorities.

“I wish to reaffirm one of the top priorities of this administration, which is the enhancement of our agricultural productivity, the guarantee of our food supply, the affordability of our food supply, and our lessening dependence on importation,” the President said.

“This includes pursuing policies that will support and protect the overall welfare of our farmers, our fisherfolk, our manufacturers, and the consuming public,” he added.

The President confidently said that the administration is “steering the growth” of the country’s fisheries and farming industries with utmost urgency.

President Marcos expressed his optimism in propelling the modernization of the Philippine agri-fisheries sector. 

“With a substantial budget of 85.88 billion pesos for 2023, and a proposed 92.40 billion pesos for 2024, I am optimistic that we can propel  the modernization of our agri-fisheries sector,” the President said.

The President enumerated various endeavors that the government is pursuing to elevate the standard of living and improve the quality of lives of the families of beneficiaries.

“Among the many endeavors that we are pursuing is the strengthening of the various associations and cooperatives so that they can provide business and investment opportunities to their beneficiaries,” the President said.

The chief executive gave his assurance that “the government is striving to implement efficient mechanization strategies, reduce post-harvest losses, and ensure optimal yield.”

For 2023, 4.73 billion pesos was allocated by the Department of Agriculture (DA) as an investment for large-scale agriculture and fishery mechanization and modernization.

President Marcos recognized the FFF’s genuine service and constant cooperation with the government that lead to the undertaking of various developments. 

“All of these plans, these programs, and prioritizations are now being undertaken because of your constant cooperation with the government and your genuine service towards our farmers and our local communities,” the President said. 

“You’ve undeniably solidified your presence over the past seven decades, and I eagerly anticipate an even deeper collaboration, given our shared commitment,” he added.

The President is looking forward to the Federation’s endeavors that will contribute to the vision for a “Bagong Pilipinas” and in achieving food security and nutrition security for the Philippines. | PND

Photo Courtesy of PCO