DBM releases P3.43-B for rice sufficiency program

June 6, 2011 at 18:15

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P3.430 billion for the Aquino administration’s rice sufficiency program.

The budget will particularly go to the Department of Agriculture’s National Rice Program aimed at helping farmers increase their yields and achieve rice self-sufficiency by 2013.

“Through this program, the government makes sure that facilities, technologies and other interventions are in place to help us achieve this target,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.

According to the DBM, under the National Rice Program, farmers are provided with quality seeds, irrigation, credit and marketing assistance to improve farm productivity and profitability.

The total budget for the National Rice Program for 2011 is P5.217 billion, data from the DBM also showed.

The Agriculture department expects to produce 17.45 million metric tons (MT) of palay this year, with plans to increase this by 10 percent to 19.2 million MT in 2012 and by another 10 percent to 21.11 million MT in 2013 to achieve rice self sufficiency.

The DA is aiming for 91.9-percent rice self-sufficiency by 2012 from 84.4 percent this year, Abad said.

At the same time, Abad said there is a need for the Agriculture department to strengthen its capability and refocus its investments towards achieving its Philippine Food Staple Self-Sufficiency Roadmap in line with achieving 100-percent rice self-sufficiency.

Latest data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics showed that the Philippines’ unmilled rice output in the third quarter of the year is expected to rise 32 percect to 3.49 million tons from a year ago. This is mainly due to better rains.

From January to June, unmilled rice harvests are projected to climb to 7.61 million tons or up by nearly 15 percent.

To view the original article by Iris C. Gonzales of the Philippine Star, click here.


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