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Ilocos Norte Cattle Industry Sustains Growth With PHP16 Million Aid

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Ilocos Norte Cattle Industry Sustains Growth With PHP16 Million Aid

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The province of Ilocos Norte distributed PHP16 million worth of cattle to 261 farmer-beneficiaries on Tuesday.

The recipients were chosen based on individual or group request addressed to the “Agri Ka Dito” hotline of the provincial government.

The cattle distribution program is funded by the province’s share in tobacco excise tax.

“Cattle raising is a good livelihood. For those who wish to have one, please request whatever you need in agriculture, livestock, fisheries and livelihood, and we will do our best to help you,” Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc said during the distribution ceremony in Bacarra town.

Launched in 2022, the “Agri Ka Dito” program is a flagship program of the provincial government aimed to help farmers and fisherfolk amidst the skyrocketing cost of agriculture inputs.

Prior to the distribution, the Provincial Veterinary Office conducted basic livestock raising skills training for the beneficiaries.

“This is a big help to our farmers to increase their income,” provincial veterinarian Dr. Loida Valenzuela said, saying cattle-raising serves as an alternative livelihood for livestock raisers previously affected by the African swine fever.

Once the cattle produces offsprings, the beneficiaries are required to return some to the province to be given to the next beneficiary.

Philippine Statistics Authority data show that Ilocos Norte posted a 6.21 percent annual increase in total cattle inventory from 71,947 heads to 76,413 heads in the first quarter of 2023.

The increase was reflected both in commercial farms and backyard cattle inventory. (PNA)