Over 5 million farmers, fishers, and farmworkers have registered under the national Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), making them part of the priority group to receive assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said a total of 5,463,735 agriculture stakeholders, including farmhand, have registered on RSBSA exceeding the Department’s target notwithstanding mobility and physical restrictions during the pandemic.
“Once registered, they are given priority in availing of agriculture and fishery assistance in the form of cash or farm inputs like seeds and fertilizers, and fuel subsidy vouchers, and crop insurance, to name a few,” he said.
Registration is at the city or municipal Agriculture Offices (C/MAOs), where applicants are assisted in filling out the RSBSA enrolment form.
The RSBSA also collects information about their membership in farmers’ or fisherfolk’s associations or cooperatives (FCAs) and other sectoral affiliations.
The DA said about 5,214,972 farmer and fisher records were already encoded in the Farmers and Fisherfolk Registration System (FFRS). Data from the National Coconut Farmers Registry System (NCRFS) and the ‘FIshR’ of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will be integrated into the FFRS.
The Department, in tandem with the C/MAOs, will continue to undertake the RSBSA enrolment process, and the integration of existing agri-fishery database systems until all the estimated 12 million farmers, fishers, farmworkers, and other target agriculture-based beneficiaries nationwide are registered.
The RSBSA has 3 main components: farmer and fisherfolk profiling, farm parcel georeferencing, and the interventions monitoring system.
“In all, the RSBSA and FFRS are key components of the digital agriculture strategy of the ‘OneDA Reform Agenda’ that involves the application of cutting-edge technologies and innovations throughout the food systems for the benefit of all food supply chain stakeholders, particularly small farmers, and fishers,” Dar said.
He said all the DA commodity banner programs from various agencies, bureaus, and other offices rely on the RSBSA database and FFRS online system for the delivery of their respective services and interventions to clients.
One project that benefited from the RSBSA was the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA). Through the registry, the unconditional cash assistance of P5,000 was loaded into the accounts of 1,049,722 rice farmer-beneficiaries who cultivate farms of 2 hectares or less.
“The RSBSA, being one of the priority initiatives of the Department, will be constantly enhanced to ensure data reliability and consistency, and we will continue to innovate and integrate sets of protocols to maintain the system’s efficiency and integrity,” Dar said.