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DA-XI offers financial aid to rice farmers

By Gio J. Tanudtanud

THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture XI will be distributing the P212 million budget of the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program to the rice farmers of Davao Region on Mar 12 and onwards.

During the Agribiz Forum at SM Lanang, Rice Program Focal of DA-XI, Evelyn G. Basa said that they will be allocating the budget to help rice farmers and financially assisting them on Mar 12 and finishing it before Apr 30. The assistance also includes the implementation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) of RA 11203.

Rice farmers who have two hectares and below, and are registered in the Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) will receive P5,000 per hectare. With the implementation of the RFFA program and the budget of P12 billion from the excess tariff revenue of rice imports in 2022, these will help rice farmers to manage the production cost and sustain the productivity of rice in times of El Niño and disasters.

“Ang cost of production of a hectare to produce rice is at around 50 to 55 thousand pesos for inbred and for hybrid naman po is nasa 55 to 60 thousand per hectare.” she said.

Evelyn G. Basa also added that the rice efficiency level of Region-XI is around 56 percent with a deficit of 44 percent which affects the law of supply and demand.

“Deficit po tayo ng 44 percent po. Hindi po tayo sufficient. So ibig sabihin nagaankat pa po tayo ng supply.” she said.

Republic Act No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law, signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte and signed on February 14, 2019, is an act of lifting the quantitative restrictions on rice imports and replacing them with tariffs. The law also created the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund or the Rice Fund to improve the competitiveness of rice farmers and income amidst liberalization of the Philippine rice trade policy.

Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund or the Rice Fund, with annual appropriation of P10 billion for the next six years, is allocated for rice farm machinery and equipment, rice seed development, propagation, and promotion, with the rest going to credit assistance, and training and extension services.



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