Thursday, December 19, 2013

DA names Legazpi ‘2013 rice achiever’
By Emmanuel P. Solis

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 19 (PNA) -- Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala is expected to give a plaque of recognition and a cash award of P1 million to the City Government of Legazpi as one of the winners of the National Agri-Pinoy Rice Achiever Award in January next year at the Malacanang Palace, DA Bicol Regional Director Abelardo Bragas said Thursday.

The other winning local government units are Polangui in Albay and Castilla in Sorsogon, which will also receive the same incentives, while Albay and Camarines Sur LGUs will both receive P5 million and a plaque of recognition each.

Based on the criteria of the DA, all the LGU winners achieved rice production and sufficiency, increased the farmers’ income and had proper use of the internal revenue allotment allocated for rice sufficiency program.

Legazpi City Agriculturist Jesus Kallos disclosed that in 2012, his office posted a total rice production of 8,059.65 metric tons (MT) while in 2013, they had a total production of 8,915.56 (MT) with an increase of 855.91 MT or 10.61 percent or .54 MT increase in yield per hectare.

He said the promotion of rice self-sufficiency in the farm land areas of the city conducted by his office was the result of greater farmer participation, which exceeded the 980 hectares target of the city government to 2,123.76 hectares cultivated by the farmers.

Kallos stressed that the other factors for the achievement of the city’s rice production goal were the agricultural modernization and farm mechanization program as well as the strong support in the farm input assistance of the city administration that contributed so much to the needs in farming activities of the farmers.

The city agriculturist said the city administration will put up additional irrigation systems in the three agricultural villages of the city to sustain the supply of water in every cropping cycle.

He said he will also continue to conduct training and seminars among the city farmers to give them additional knowledge on how to apply the proper way of planting rice.

Despite smaller rice field areas in the city compared to other localities of the region, Legazpi has posted a total contribution of 4.35 percent rice production to the provincial government of Albay and .74 percent contribution to the record of the Bicol region, Kallos pointed out.(PNA) LAP/FGS/EPS/CBD/