Rice Production in Negros Occidental, Philippines

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is expecting a stronger yield to a high of 10–30 percent in palay and rice production in Negros Occidental that may lead to sufficient food supply.

The idea was anchored on the possibility of a longer wet season starting April to October next year.

Agriculture Undersecretary Edmund J. Sana, in a meeting with local government unit executives, seed and rice growers in the province on Wednesday, said the anticipated farm output will make Negros a “net exporting province for rice” to contribute to national rice sufficiency expectations by 2013.

Sana predicted that starting 2009, the country would be able to gradually and dramatically reach its target of 17.2 million metric tons of palay harvest until the year 2013.

The country sits on a 92 percent status of rice sufficiency of which the eight percent deficit is “achievable” before the 2013 target.

Sana said the increase in prices of fertilizers could also affect the yield but he claimed enough budget had already been set aside to combat the ill-effects of the soaring cost of fertilizers.

Sana advocates for the use of organic fertilizer as one practical mitigating measure against the high cost of fertilizers.

The DA proposes a P39 billion budget for next year, P9 billion of which will go to rice production.

Furthermore, the daily consumption of rice by Filipinos is estimated at no less than 32,000 metric tons nationwide should not make us dependent on rice imports from Thailand, Vietnam and China.

If importation would still warrant, it would only be minimal if we reach our target of production,” he said. – PNA

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