DAVAO CITY, Philippines – What was meant to be a three-day protest of farmers outside the Department of Agriculture office here was cut-short after an agreement was reached between the farmers and government officials.

After an hour of dialogue on Tuesday, DA 11 agreed to provide the farmers with seedlings of rice and corn to the farmers in the Davao Region, following a protest outside of the office here Monday, Oct. 24.

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas spokesperson Pedro Arnado said 20 bags of rice and corn seedlings will be provided, each bag of 18 kilograms to be used in a hectare. Forty bags of various vegetables seedlings were also distributed to the farmers.

Arnado  said that these were just their minimum demands and other demands will be stated on the Memorandum of Agreement they will be drafting.

The proposed MOA, Arnado said will include farm services including tractors, tracers, milling, farm tools, and demo farms. The final discussion for the said MOA was set on November 4.

In an interview with Davao Today, DA XI Regional Director Ricardo Oñate, Jr., said they will continuously support the farmers.

“They have to plant, they have to identify a mother farm. The DA XI will support them.” Oñate said. “We do not have to argue, we will start farming, we will support the KMP.”

Oñate clarified that it is the farmers who will be choosing the farm lands, for “they know what to plant.”

“As long as the DA XI could provide, this will be continuous,” Oñate added.

The budgeting on the farmers’ subsidy will also be discussed on the next meeting.

Meanwhile, Arnado said that what the DA starting to implement right now, “was what the farmers were demanding for a long time.”

Arnado said this is the first time that their demands were heard by the said agency. He said the farmers’ demands “were snubbed” by the previous administration.

Arnado said the current DA officials were open to negotiate with them.

“We could see that they were open to our demands. The director said that his office could only give based on its capacity,” Arnado said.

“And even the employees inside helped to answer the demands of the farmers.” (Earl O. Condeza/

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