Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DA to fete Bulacan, NE for rice production

MALOLOS CITY—Despite decreasing farmlands, the provinces of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija excelled in rice production for 2012, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

This came as the DA prepared to honor the country’s outstanding rice-producing provinces, municipalities, institutions and individuals in the forthcoming Agri-Pinoy’s Rice Achievers Awards that will be held on March 15.

The awardees includes 10 provinces, 48 municipalities, 10 irrigators’ associations, three small-water-impounding systems associations and 443 agricultural extension workers (AEWs) that stood out in the field of rice production.

In Central Luzon, the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Bulacan excel in rice production and are adjudged as winners in the province category.

Felicito Espiritu, DA-III information officer, said the provinces will receive P4 million each in the form of projects in support to the attainment of rice sufficiency.

This is due to improved performances of the municipalities of Talavera, Guimba, General Tinio, Llanera, Sta. Rosa, Sto. Domingo, Cuyapo and Lupao in Nueva Ecija and the municipality of San Rafael in Bulacan in rice production.

The said municipalities will each receive P1 million in the form of projects aimed at rice sufficiency, after being deemed as winners in the municipality category.

Aside from the above, DA will also honor agricultural extension workers in Central Luzon which is known as the “rice granary of the Philippines.”

Records showed that Central Luzon was able to produce 87 agricultural technicians and officials who won in the LGU/AEW category.

Of the said agricultural technicians, 20 came from Bulacan, while 67 are from Nueva Ecija. Each of them will receive incentives worth P20,000.

The Agri-Pinoy Rice Program, one of the components of the Department of Agriculture, tackles rice farming and the development of the lives of Filipino farmers.

Now on its second Rice Achievers Awards, the Agri-Pinoy Rice Program will give away a total of P110 million in prizes, all in the form of projects and incentives, to recognize exemplary achievements in rice production and to boost the morale of the country’s farmers and agricultural workers.

Meanwhile, records obtained from the National Statistics office showed that areas dedicated for farmlands in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija have dropped from 1991 to 2002.

In 1991, NSO records showed that Bulacan has a total of 69,242 hectares of farmlands compared to 63,134 in 2002. In Nueva Ecija, farmland areas dropped to 196,390 hectares in 2002 from 223,853 hectares in 1991.  Dino Balabo