The Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas is stepping up its efforts to create more irrigated rice areas and increase production in the region.
Regional director Remelyn Recoter, in an interview yesterday, said that currently, the ratio of non-irrigated and irrigated rice areas in Region 6 is 60:40, and they want to reverse the ratio to increase production.
She said that, currently, Western Visayas is the third top rice-producing region in the country, following Central Visayas and Cagayan Valley.
“Rice production of Western Visayas ranks second or third in the country, while the percent yield is only at 12 th or 13 th place compared toother regions. If we can increase the number of irrigated areas, the region could be placed on the top as the biggest rice producer nationwide,” she said.
If rain-fed areas are converted, the yield of production will increase by half metric ton per hectare, she said.
Negros Occidental has a total of 64,691.27 has. of rice areas and two-thirds of it are irrigated while the rest are still rain-fed areas.
Apart from more irrigated areas, rice hybridization is also pushed by DA-6 to further boost rice production in the region, she said.*MLG
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