Except for Negros Occidental and Aklan that have posted around 90 percent rice sufficiency, all provinces in the Western Visayas region have achieved a 100 percent sufficiency rate.
Remelyn Recoter, Department of Agriculture Regional Executive Director for Western Visayas, said Western Visayas is 109 percent sufficient, and the region contributes 12 to 13 percent of the country’s national production.
In 2017, she saidthe region’s production was at 2.2 million metric tons.
However, she emphasized that being sufficient does not mean that there will be adequate supply throughout the year, as some of the produce in the region are being exported to Mindoro and Cebu.
To ensure high harvest and less wastage, the DA continues to encourage farmers to mechanize and use the hybrid rice varieties, she said.
Just last week, DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol turned over some PHP75.6 million worth of machinery and equipment to farmers associations in Aklan, Iloilo, and Capiz.
The equipment were purchased using the Yolanda Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program in line with its goal of encouraging more farmers to mechanize as one strategy to lessen farm losses.
Recoter also advised farmers to get in touch with their municipal or provincial agriculture office to learn more about the programs and projects of DA.
She added that DA provides an incentive of PHP3,000 per month to agriculture technicians of every municipality to make sure that they are able to assist farmers in their areas.
It is supposed take the responsibility of the local government unit but since those from the fourth to sixth class towns do not have enough funds, the DA took up the cudgels of giving them the incentive, she said.*PNA
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