THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) XI allocated P1.17 billion, most of which would be used to purchase and distribute fertilizers and feeds for rice hybridization this year.
During the AgriBiz forum at SM Lanang on Aug. 29, Evelyn Basa, DA-XI regional rice program coordinator, said this would help increase the productivity of the local farmers.
“From 54% of sufficiency level for 2022, it is aimed to increase at least 97% by the year 2027,” Basa said.
Aside from seeds and fertilizer, Basa said they also give additional support in the form of vouchers and fuel subsidies, with a budget of P592 million for two cropping seasons and P430 million for the hybridization program.
“In fact, ang caravan ani, ang distribution is ongoing, karon naa ta sa Laak, then tomorrow sa Compostela Valley for two days, kay dako kaayo ilahang allocation,” Basa added.
Basa said the three mentioned interventions are funded under the regular program of the DA-XI specifically for rice.
Previously, Agnes Cecilia Roble, DA XI senior agriculturist, said the low sufficiency level of rice pushed prices up. They saw the inadequate areas suited for production as the primary reason for the low supply.
“Eventually makita nato nga naa gihapoy makaon nga bugas, ang problema lang ga-taas [ang presyo]. Basically, kung kulang pa atong supply karon, naturally ang presyo nato ana medyo mosaka pud an sya gamay (Eventually, we can see that there is still enough rice to eat, the only problem is [the price] is high. Basically, if our supply is still insufficient, the price will naturally go up a bit),” Roble added.
She said the Davao Region has a 54% rice sufficiency level, which means they have to find other means to fill the gap, such as importing from other regions, to feed its estimated 3.75 million population.
In line with the program is the hybrid demonstration in Hagonoy, Davao del Sur, which is being funded by the Agricultural Training Institute at the cost of P4 million. The institute will showcase different varieties of hybrid rice culminating on Sept. 19 to 21.
The showcase is participated by Philippine Rice Board members, including private seed companies and input suppliers of fertilizers, along with cooperators from Hagonoy’s Irrigator Association.
She also mentioned the implementation of the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) funded under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.
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