IN line with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s social contract commitment to reduce poverty and ensure rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth, especially for those living in the countryside, the Department of Budget and Management announced recently that it has released P3.430-billion for the National Rice Program of the Department of Agriculture.
In a statement, DBM Secretary Florencio Abad said the release would help farmers increase their harvest yields towards achieving rice self-sufficiency by 2013. “The DA’s National Rice Program highlights the Aquino Administration’s commitment to rice
self sufficiency by 2013. Through this program, the government makes sure that facilities, technologies and other interventions are in place to help us achieve this target,” he said.
Under the National Rice Program, farmers are provided with quality seeds, irrigation, credit and marketing assistance to improve farm productivity and profitability. The total budget for the National Rice Program for 2011 is P5.217 billion.
Moving a step closer to rice self sufficiency, the DA expects to produce 17.45 million metric tons (MT) of palay this year; and plans to increase that by 10 percent to 19.2 million MT in 2012; and by another 10 percent to 21.11 million MT in 2013 to achieve rice self sufficiency.
In a technical budget hearing conducted by the DBM, Alcala said that DA aims for 91.9 percent rice self-sufficiency by 2012 from 84.4 percent this year, and to attain this, proposed increases in its 2012 budget for its banner program for rice.
Abad meanwhile emphasized the need for DA to strengthen its capability and refocus its
investments towards achieving its Philippine Food Staple Self-Sufficiency Roadmap in line
with achieving 100-percent rice self-sufficiency. (PCOO)