DA eyes 117% rice sufficiency in Eastern Visayas by year 2016
TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is counting on the yield of nearly 40,000 hectares of rice farms in the region focused for irrigation development and high yielding variety cultivation to attain staple food sufficiency by 2016.
Rufino Ayaso, chief of the department’s operation division and regional rice program coordinator said that the region is currently 97% sufficient in rice based on the 2010 population and the goal is to increase to 117% in 2016 given the population growth and higher per capita consumption for rice.
Listed as potential major rice producing areas are the 5,000 hectares covered by the Help for Catubig Agricultural Advancement Project (HCAAP) in Catubig Valley in Northern Samar; 2,000 hectares Dolores Valley Irrigation component in Eastern Samar; and 3,300 hectares Samar Upland Rice Areas with an on-going commercialization.
Also identified are the 7,140 hectares Biliran Rice Terraces; 3,000 hectares Basey Irrigation Development project in Samar 16,000 hectares of Leyte Plains Hybrid Rice Commercialization project in 14 focus municipalities of Leyte; and 3,000 hectares South Pacific Towns and Panaon Island in nine municipalities of Southern Leyte.
“These areas have been focused in the implementation of big and small irrigation projects, planting of high yielding varieties and upland rice farming,” Ayaso said.
He added that HCAAP, Dolores and Basey are new production areas with ongoing irrigation development programs of the National Irrigation Administration.
“Through the use of certified and hybrid seeds, we expect to raise the harvest per hectare from 3.45 metric tons (mt) per hectare in 2011 to 4.42 mt per hectare in 2016,” Ayaso said.
The farm department is eyeing a production of 1,294,977 metric tons (mt) in 2016 from 964,145 mt in 2010. The agency expects an output increase of 310,961 mt between 2011 and 2016 or an average yield growth of 5.11% annually. (Sarwell Q. Meniano)
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