Farmers in Bago, the city with the widest rice areas in Negros Occidental, were urged by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist to help the province attain a 100 percent rice sufficiency in 2019.
Supervising Agriculturist Dina Genzola said yesterday the current food sufficiency of the province is at 94.35 percent, but Bago City has 200 percent. This means that the help of the Bagonhon farmers is instrumental to attain the 100 percent mark next year, she added.
“We are considering you as partners to improve the agriculture sector of the province and we have about six percent that needed to be filled to reach sufficiency of the province,” she said in her speech at the Farmers Field School-Field Day in Taloc, Bago City.
Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino and Genzola led the techno-demo for farm mechanization in rice yesterday with the FFS participants from Newton-Camingawan-Para Farmers Association in Taloc, the location of one of the two rice model farms in Bago.
Genzola said they are hoping to reach the 100 percent target through collaboration with farmers, government agencies, and other organizations to attain the food security thrust of the provincial government to feed the 3.3 million population of Neg. Occ.
She said they are presenting more opportunities for farmers to attain the target through giving them technical trainings, and the introduction of the Production Loan Easy Access program, among others, to help them in land preparation, production, marketing, and packaging of the technology.
During the program, OPA demonstrated farm mechanization in harvesting rice through the combine harvester machine that will be turned over to them, and gave the NECAPA farmers 149 bags of hybrid and 90 bags of inbred rice seeds.
Masculino also said they are introducing mechanization to the farmers for them to lessen their production cost, from cultivation, land preparation, and post-harvest.
The demonstration was also in line with the implementation of the Focused Area for Sustainable Transformation program of OPA, that will fully mechanize the 200-hectare model farm in Taloc in the next cropping season.
Through the program, Masculino said the OPA will turn over to NECAPA farmers five combine harvesters, four transplanters, and tractors.
Masculino also said OPA intends to lower the production costs of the farmers from P12/kilo to P6/kilo to be globally competitive, especially among neighboring Southeast Asian countries.
“That is why we are continually implementing the FFS program to teach the farmers on how to improve their production, not only through mechanization but also through the use of hybrid and inbred seeds,” Masculino added.
Bago Agriculturist Carlito Indencia said the city government’s priority is still agriculture and the farmers need to cooperate with them.
He said they are up to the challenge of helping Neg. Occ. attain a 100 percent sufficiency and will share their supply with neighboring towns and cities that lack sufficient rice areas.*
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