3 Mindanao provinces among DA’s awardees-A A +A
Friday, March 14, 2014
THE Department of Agriculture (DA) honored the country’s top rice-producing municipalities, cities and provinces, farmers and irrigators’ associations, and agricultural workers during the third Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers’ Awards held Friday at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.
This year’s awards were conferred to 12 provinces, 48 municipalities and cities, 10 irrigators’ associations, three small water impounding system farmers’ associations (SWISAs), and 496 agricultural extension workers (AEWs) who took home a total of over P110 million in prizes from the DA National Rice Program (NRP).
The provinces of Nueva Ecija, North Cotabato, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Kalinga, Mindoro Occidental, Laguna, and Lanao Del Norte were declared as the country’s top rice achievers for 2013.
For surpassing their palay production targets, attaining higher average yield, encouraging more farmers to use quality seeds and appropriate technologies as well as prioritizing rice-related projects, the aforementioned provinces received a trophy and check worth P4 million.
The top municipalities and cities, including the exceptional IAs each received P1-million worth of project grants.
The top provinces, cities and municipalities were chosen based on the following criteria: incremental increases in rice harvest and average yield per hectare over 2012 levels, increases over their 2012 targets, amount of budget devoted to rice projects and initiatives, number of farmers benefited, and degree of quality seed utilization, among others.
Meanwhile, the outstanding SWISAs got P500,000 each in project grants, while the leading AEWs took home cash incentives of P20,000 each.
The awards and prizes were handed out by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala together with NRP coordinator and acting undersecretary for Field Operations Dante Delima.
Alcala said the annual contest is the government’s way of thanking the country’s rice farmers and their respective provincial and municipal officials and AEWs for their continuing efforts and contribution to increase rice production.
According to the DA, the combined palay production of the 12 provinces totaled 6.65 million metric tons (MMT) – which represents about 36 percent of the country’s total harvest of 18.42 MMT last year.
“The Rice Achievers’ Awards is part of DA’s interventions and incentive system to encourage LGUs, IAs, SWISAs and AEWs to contribute their share in increasing farmers’ harvest and incomes in order to attain national rice sufficiency,” Alcala said. (PNA)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 15, 2014.