Philippines moving toward rice self-sufficiency, rice-exporting country

31.08.2016

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is in talks with several local government units (LGUs) on their possible participation in its proposed rice production program which aims to meet rice self-sufficiency before 2019 and even make the Philippines become a rice-exporting country.

In an interview, DA Secretary Manny Piñol said under the program called “local government corporate farms”, the LGUs will adopt a publicly or privately-owned farm which they will provide financing through bank loan for their farmers in the form of rice seeds and fertilizers throughout the planting season.

Piñol said the LGUs will then buy back the palay produce of the farmers engaged in production.

He said the program fulfills the commitment of President Rodrigo Duterte to provide each family-beneficiary of the government’s poverty alleviation Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) 20 kilos of rice every month.

“The logistical nightmare of bringing imported rice from the NFA (National Food Authority) warehouse to the town, to the barangay, to the homes of the 4Ps beneficiaries will already be eliminated,” Piñol noted.

He said the DA will provide soil survey which aims to guide the LGUs what kind of variety of rice seeds and fertilizer should be used in their municipalities based on suitability, as well as equip the farmers with technical knowledge on rice farming.

Piñol said the rice production program also hopes to reduce the price of commercial rice of up to PHP7 per kilo, as it eliminates the interference of the middle men who control the buying price of palay and also manipulate the selling of price of rice in the market.

The agriculture chief bared that Quezon City is the first LGU that will participate in the corporate farms program, also considered the public-private partnership (PPP) program in the agriculture sector.

“It already identified 1,000-hectare (farm) in Mindoro, the area will be first area for Quezon City. But the target is 5,000 (hectares) for Quezon City because they will use this to supply rice to their employees and also open up their Bigasan ng Masa for their 4Ps members,” he said.

Piñol said Quezon City targets to generate over PHP100 million per cropping season.


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