DA bares rice sufficiency in Caraga
By Rhea C. Abao
BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 22 (PIA) - Towards achieving food staples sufficiency, the rice and corn subsectors delivered a record of 18.88 million metric (mt) tons of palay and 7.77 million metric tons (mt) of corn (white and yellow) through the concerted efforts of farmers and irrigators’ associations, local government units and the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional field offices and operating units.
DA secretary Proceso J. Alcala said that the gains were attributed to generally favorable weather condition and higher farmgate prices benefiting farmers which encouraged them to adopt high yielding technologies resulting to increase in yield at national scale by about 3 percent for rice and 3.41 percent for corn.
To put the contribution of Caraga in perspective for rice, the region attained the volume production of 574,499 mt. of which Agusan del Sur, considered as the rice hub of the region, has the highest contribution with 292,019 mt followed by Surigao del Sur with 112,493mt, Agusan del Norte with 99,786 mt, Surigao del Norte with 63,694 mt, and Dinagat Islands with a contribution of 6,507 mt.
Further, the region contributed 125,406 mt volume production for corn. Agusan del Sur contributed the highest production of 97,864 mt. Followed by Agusan del Norte with 15,153 mt, Surigao del Sur with 10,768 mt, Surigao del Norte with 1,558 mt, and Dinagat Islands with 63 mt.
Based on the Caraga Rice Sufficiency Level and Utilization data from 2011 to 2016 with a population of 2,429,244 and growth rate of 1.5 percent based on 2010 NSO survey result, the region targeted 111.90% sufficiency level for the year 2014.
According to Philippine Statistics Authority – Bureau of Agriculture and Statistics (PSA-BAS) the effort to attain rice self-sufficiency has paid off as the region exceeded its target to 113.56%.
In 2012, Survey of Food Demand (SFD) per capita rice consumption in Caraga is about 128 kilogram per person per year with which 23,998 mt was wasted due to irresponsible rice consumption.
“The findings of the BAS has prompted the DA-13 to continue and pursue the Be RICEponsible campaign among consumers. As this aims to promote responsible rice consumption for better health and less rice wastage and productive farming through promotion of efficient rice technologies and inspiring farmers to do better,” said DA Caraga assistant regional director Edgardo D. Dahino.
DA Caraga regional director Edna M. Mabeza said that the success in rice sufficiency is due to the various factors cited, foremost is the budget support for the required infrastructure, pre and postharvest intervention, farm mechanization, and buffer stocking for quick turn around after calamities.
“The partnership with the Farmers Associations, Peoples Organizations, Irrigators Associations, Local Farmer Technicians and LGU’s – especially the provincial and municipal agriculturists and technicians makes the story complete as DA bares rice sufficiency in Caraga. Kayang-kaya basta sama-sama,” Mabeza said. (DA-RFU 13/PIA-Caraga)