The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) revealed the country’s first semester palay production is forecast to post a 14.9 percent increase compared to that of last year.
Dante Delima, national rice program coordinator of the Department of Agriculture, citing BAS figures in a report to Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, voiced optimism that the country can achieve a production of 9.86 million metric tons for the ongoing wet season to be able to attain the target of 17.46 MMT for the year.
The rice production forecast from January to June is pegged at around 7.6 MMT, statistics from the BAS revealed
“We expect peak of planting starting June and July, which is almost 63 percent of the total 2011 wet season target planting,” Delima said
The rice production survey will be on the first week of July, and estimates or actual production figures for the January to June 2011 period will be available on or before August 15, Delima clarified
Meanwhile, as of June 10, 2011, the implementation of the upland rice development program in Regions 11 and 13 has benefited a total of 1,247 farmers from the 72,254.50 kilograms of seeds that were distributed by the DA.
Some 103,381.75 kilograms of the distributed seeds are expected to be repaid, of which 11,236 kilograms have already been collected.
For seed production, a total of 14,538 hectares have been planted, of which 13,390 hectares were planted with registered seeds, 1,135 hectares with foundation seeds, and 13.30 hectares with breeder seeds.
Region III has registered the highest number of seeds produced, at 3,963 hectares; followed by Region II with 2,393 hectares, the BAS figures revealed.
To ensure that rice program interventions reach the intended beneficiaries, a partnership mechanism is being put into place to integrate and involve farmer-beneficiaries through strengthened Irrigators’ Associations (IA’s) in all of the country’s 16 regions, Alcala revealed earlier.
The program will instill to farmer-beneficiaries project ownership and accountability. They are involved in planning and decision-making, thus consultations, consensual negotiations, and transparent communications in the different cluster levels are key to program implementation, Alcala said.
A series of consultations with different IA’s have also been held for five different clusters in Nueva Ecija, Quezon City, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Southern Mindanao.
These consultation-workshops with IA’s were attended by Federation and IA Presidents of the regions, government attached agencies such as National Irrigation Association (NIA), Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PHILRICE), Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) and representatives from Regional Field Units (RFUs) and Provincial and Municipal Government Units.
Meanwhile, other strategies to achieve rice sufficiency targets include:
- community-based seed bank and buffer stocking, where farmers are encouraged to use high quality seeds and ensure its availability and accessibility at the right time within the community;
- rehabilitation of NFA drying facilities to improve palay drying services especially during the wet season. More than P100 million is expected to be provided to NFA for this purpose.
- production of other staple crops such as sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, and white corn which shall serve as alternatives to rice in non-rice eating regions of the country.
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