Department of Agriculture (DA)-funded projects in Aurora Province were either temporarily interrupted or put into halt due to strict community quarantines and economic shifts during the start of the pandemic.

This was revealed in the Participatory Monitoring and Tracking (PMT) activity of the Aurora Provincial Agricultural and Fishery Council (PAFC) together with the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) on September 26 to 30, 2021. 

According to the report, among the unutilized projects are the  fermentation facilities for Cacao in San Luis Organic Cacao Producers Association and in Maria Aurora Cacao Growers Association Inc.

The operations of the fermentation facility were suspended due to the low demand for cacao in the area brought about by COVID-19 pandemic. Majority of the farmers planted cash crops like papaya and vegetables as  alternative sources of income, said the report. 

Apart from the fermentation facilities, the greenhouse project of the Vegetable Growers Federation of San Luis is also not being utilized.  

These projects were funded under the High Value Commercial Crops Development Program (HVCDP).

The team monitored 16  projects in the municipalities of Baler, Maria Aurora, San Luis and Dipaculao. In the report, it was revealed that 10 are utilized while six are unutilized.   

Projects and programs that were monitored and tracked were farm-to-market roads, four-wheel drive tractor, combine harvester, windmill irrigation system, hand tractor with accessories, and shallow tube well. | JB