BUTUAN CITY – Some PHP260.8 million has been earmarked to boost rice production in the Caraga Region this year.
The strengthening of rice production is also in line with the directives of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on the stability of rice supply and increased farm household income among rice farmers, Emmylou Presilda, DA-13 information officer, said in an interview on Monday.
“Production support services program involves the provision of high-yielding rice seed varieties and fertilizer assistance to our rice farmers,” Presilda said.
Of the total allocation, some PHP178.9 million will be apportioned for the production support services program in the rice sector in the region.
A total of PHP54.4 million will also be allocated for the extension support, education, and training services of the rice program in the region, she added.
Presilda said that education and training services will not only benefit the rice farmers and their leaders but also the rice extension workers in the provinces and municipalities in the region.
The other allocations in the rice program include PHP13.7 million for irrigation network services, PHP6.9 million for facilities and support services, and PHP6.7 million for research and development.
Presilda said a dialogue with the stakeholders and partners in the rice industry was already facilitated last Jan. 20, led by DA-13 Regional Executive Director Ricardo Oñate Jr.
The dialogue was focused on the issues and concerns that affect the rice sector in the region, particularly on farm mechanization and the formation of cooperatives and associations among the rice farmers through clustering, she said.
The gathering also discussed the sustainability of the operations of the Rice Processing Centers in the region, as well as the development of multiple-income opportunities for rice stakeholders in the area. (PNA)