DA to promote hybrid rice to attain rice self-sufficiency by 2020
The Department of Agriculture led by Secretary Emmanuel Piñol will intensify its efforts to promote rice hybridization in order to meet the targeted rice self-sufficiency for the country.
During the 4th National Rice Technology Forum on Wednesday, Piñol cited four strategies in order to meet the rice self-sufficiency goal by 2020. These include: promotion of hybrid rice; access to credit; access to right marketing; and provision of post-harvest facilities.
In promoting hybrid rice, the DA will launch a rice derby contest that will determine which variety produces more yield per hectare.
It has also proposed the enactment of a Quick Credit Facility (QCF) to Congress in which farmers and fishers can avail of financial assistance worth P25,000 for every hectare.
Meanwhile, in addressing the access to right market, the DA proposed that farmers should be organized in a highly-functioning organization which can help them set up their own rice outlets.
Distribution of post-harvest facilities will be prioritized by the DA to lessen their production and post-harvest losses.
Piñol pointed out that "the government will not give equipment which does not work and which you (farmers) do not need."
The DA is also seeking a P20-billion budget for 2018 for the distribution of a solar irrigation system that is also part of their rice expansion program. The said expansion in 2018 will cover about 20,000 to 30,000 hectares.
“The department has to irrigate 80,000 hectares every year to be able to feed the growing number of Filipinos,” Piñol said at the forum held in M'lang, Cotabato.
"All we need is the political will to implement the programs and projects," he added.
In 2016, the DA secretary had also emphasized the need to expand ricefields by one million hectares.
The Aquino administration, however, has supposedly focused on rice importation instead of making the country self-sufficient.
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