Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Alcala Turns Over P13.9-M Farm Projects to N. Cotabato Farmers
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala turned over P13.5 million worth of agricultural support inputs and livestock to farmers in North Cotabato and urged them to use high-yielding varieties of rice and select efficient rice mills to support the government’s rice self-sufficiency target.
The bulk of the funds or P10 million went to the dispersal of 70 heads of cows and carabaos, according to the Soccsksargen Agriculture office.
Half of the amount was shouldered by the province’s First District Rep. Jesus Sacdalan through his Priority Development Assistance Fund. The other P5 million was released by the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The DA also released P2 million for the 57,142 rubber-budded seedlings that were distributed. Also distributed were 40,000 coconut seedlings worth P1 million and 33,350 coffee seedlings worth P500,000.
The agricultural assistance came with four units of shallow tube wells worth P100,000 each and small farm implements. These were turned over at simple rites in barangay 8, Midsayap, North Cotabato.
Aside from the support, Alcala also assured North Cotabato residents that he would confer with Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson on controlling the flood after every heavy rainfall.
Alcala especially urged farmers to improve their agricultural practices to increase the recovery rate of palay being dried. He said his office would put up additional dryers and “to advise farmers to select the effective rice mill to have a 65-percent to 70-percent recovery rate of their produce and lessen spillage.”
“The Land Bank of the Philippines can provide funds for a much better rice milling facility,” he told farmers in the area.
The government goal was five metric tons per hectare “to attain rice sufficiency in the country.” Alcala said the recovery program would focus “on the selection of the right variety of rice seeds to produce more yields.”
Support infrastructure was already given to the province such as storage and drying facilities.
He also said government was implementing the Organic Agricultural Act of 2010, or Republic Act 10068 “which will be of great help to farmers who are promoting ecologically-friendly agriculture products.”
Municipal agriculturists would also be trained “to produce organic fertilizers to help farmers against the high costs of inputs.
The Agriculture secretary said on Saturday during the 65th Commencement Exercises of the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, North Cotabato, that “there will no longer be rice importation by 2013 under the DA’s Agri-Pinoy program.”
He said only last year, the Philippines was “the No. 1 importer of rice in the world with 2.4 million metric tons. This year, Indonesia ranks as the top importer with 1.5 million metric tons.”
“Dahil sa ganda ng klima sa Mindanao, dahil sa ang gagaling ng tao sa Mindanao, gagawin nating agricultural hub ng buong bansa ang Mindanao,” Alcala said.
By Business Mirror
Thank You Secretary Alcala
We congratulate and are proud of Secretary Alcala efforts to help the Philippine farmers in all aspects of their farming efforts. Through a concerted team effort from the government and private agri-business, the Philippines can become food self-sufficient and a net rice and food exporter benefiting everyone involved.
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