By Zea Capistrano
DAVAO CITY – In a bid to help local farmers, the Department of Agriculture in Region 11 said they are encouraging consumers to buying and consuming local rice.
Noel Provido, chief of the Regional Regional Agriculture & Fishery Information Section, of DA-11, said a way to help the local farmers is for consumers to buy their produce. To make it more accessible in the market, Provido said they recently held a meeting with provincial governors in the region to appeal for their support in engaging in rice business.
“Since provinces have their Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) and the Landbank of the Philippines offers a loan for LGUs to engage in rice business, encouraging the provincial governments to engage in rice business is a way to offer fair price to farmers,” he said in a phone interview.
Provido said that the LGU officials have shown interest in the proposal.
The DA official said the price of palay in the region is currently at P16 to P17 a kilo. The NFA, he added, buys clean and dry palay at P19 per kilo.
He said they aim to cut down the cost of production by 30 percent and increase rice yield from four metric tons per hectare to six metric tons per hectare by providing farmers with machinery and seed subsidy under the Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund.
“Our production cost is currently at P12 per kilo, while the rice from other countries like Thailand and Vietnam have lower production cost at P8 per kilo and P6 per kilo, respectively,” he said.
Provido said mechanization will help bring down the cost of rice production.