Bago City, the rice granary of Negros Occidental, attained a 263-percent rice sufficiency in 2018, City Agriculturist, Carlito Indencia, said yesterday.
Indencia told the DAILY STAR that the rice sufficiency of Bago reached 263.82 percent last year, an increase of about 35 percent compared to 228 percent in 2017.
The current rice sufficiency of Bago translates to 119,528 metric tons of rice production, with an average of 4.43 metric tons yield per hectare.
In 2017, the city produced about 107,000MT of rice with an average of 4.2MT yield per hectare, records show.
Indencia said the increase in production is attributed to less minimal crop losses due to calamities, more facilities and technology distributed, education given to the farmers, and more support from the city government through allocating a budget to develop agriculture in Bago.
“The Bago City government has been leading the initiative to improve agriculture, especially for rice, by supporting farmers into growing and producing more of this crop,” he said.
Indencia also said that last year, the city had planted more rice areas compared to 2017.
He said the city spent much on distributing quality seeds that are under the hybridization program, that aims to increase the rice yield in Bago.
The target in 2016 was to increase to at least 500 kilos the yield in 2018. Three years ago, the production was at 3.9MT per hectare and now it has risen to 4.43MT, he added.
Indencia also said he hopes this rice sufficiency rate in Bago will greatly contribute to attaining 100 percent rice sufficiency in the province.
In 2019, the city government aims to reach the 4.5MT per hectare mark, in terms of yield, by pushing Bagonhon farmers to use hybrid rice seeds, he said.
The southern part of Bago is still in the third cropping, and the first cropping for 2019 will start in the northern part in June, he said.
Barangays that are still in third cropping are Lag-asan, Pacol, Bagroy, Caridad, Sagasa, Alianza, and parts of Napoles and Malinging. Rice harvest is expected on the last week of June, Indencia said.
Those that belong to the northern Bago rice areas are barangays Tabunan, Dulao, Taloc, Abuanan, and parts of Antipuluan, Malingin, and Busay. He added that irrigation in the area will open on the last week of May.*
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