Agriculture Secretary cites keys to rice self-sufficiency goal

Piñol cites keys to rice self-sufficiency goal
By Leslie D. Venzon

LOS BANOS, Laguna (Philippines News Agency) — Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol is optimistic that the country will achieve its rice self-sufficiency goal in two to three years.

“There are four things we need to focus: good seeds, support for fertilization, irrigation and mechanization,” he told reporters on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 50th anniversary of the release of the rice variety, IR8, at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) headquarters here.

Piñol noted the country needs to undertake measures “that have been proven to be effective.”

He earlier said the corporate farm program could also enable the country meet rice self-sufficiency before 2019 and even make the Philippines become a rice exporting country.

Under the program, the local government units (LGUs) will adopt a publicly or privately-owned farm which they will provide financing through bank loan for their farmers in the form of rice seeds and fertilizers throughout the planting season.

The LGUs will then buy back the palay produce of the farmers engaged in production.

Piñol said four LGUs will initially participate in the corporate farm program — Quezon City, Kidapawan City, Quirino and Sorsogon.

He added that the implementation of the program starts in 2017. (PNA)

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