First Provincial NYR launch held in E. Samar
TACLOBAN CITY-The Department of Agriculture-8 (DA-8) held recently the first in a series of six provincial launching of the National Year of Rice (NYR) in Eastern Visayas. Said activity convened at least 150 farmer-leaders, agriculture and fishery councils, agriculturists, local elective officials, focal persons and technical staff of DA and partner agencies at the provincial gymnasium in Borongan City .
In his message, Rufino B. Ayaso III, DA-8’s regional rice program focal person and operations division chief, said that NYR primarily supports the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP) which is also being implemented by DA.
“NYR, as a communication strategy, principally aims to achieve 100% rice self-sufficiency in 2013 which is in consonance with the end-goal of the FSSP,” he affirmed.
Mr. Ayaso is hopeful that Eastern Samar, which is only 55% rice sufficient according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics’ (BAS) 2012 survey, has to double its rice production in order to be rice self-sufficient.
Mr. Ayaso also revealed that Eastern Samar’s total rice area of 17,377 hectares is consist of 22% irrigated, 77% rainfed and 1% upland. With its average yield of 2.82 mt per hectare, it was able to produce 59,412 mt in 2012. “Compared to the previous years, the production increment in 2012 was the highest that the province has achieved so far,” he said.
“With the increasing rice production trend of the province, we are confident that by 2016 Eastern Samar can be self-sufficient,” he mused. However, Mr. Ayaso said that the province’s key players have to work harder to achieve this target.
On the part of the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Eastern Samar, Governor Conrado B. Nicart stated that the agriculture sector is the top priority of his administration. “In fact, we allocated a budget of as much as P40 million for the agriculture sector this year, the biggest among other sectors,” he disclosed.
Gov. Nicart and Mr. Francisco C. Rosaroso, Regional NYR Focal Person, both recognized the outstanding performance of the Provincial Agriculture Office under the auspices of Mr. Regalado R. Opeña especially the implementation of the Provincial Rice Production Enhancement Program (PRPEP).
Highlighted during the launching were the unveiling of the NYR logo and the recitation of the Panatang Makapalay which was participated in by all spectators.
Meantime, National NYR Program Leader Ms Hazel V. Antonio from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Nueva Ecija, graced the said event and presented the NYR overview preceding Mr. Rosaroso who reported the regional NYR advocacy campaign strategies.
Other relevant topics were also presented by top officials and resource persons from partner agencies.
The event also served as a perfect venue for the farmers to express their concerns and share their good rice farming practices and experiences which were given due commendation by guests and officials in attendance. PR
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