NFA to establish Caraga, Davao as pilot regions for rice production in Mindanao

November 9, 2011 10:38 pm 

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, Nov. 9 – The National Food Authority (NFA) has called for the establishment of Caraga and Davao regions as pilot areas for rice production in Mindanao, in order to achieve its aim of rice sufficiency in the near future.

NFA Administrator Angelito T. Banayo, during his recent meeting with the stakeholders of the rice industry in Davao del Norte at the Bulwagan ng Lalawigan in Tagum City, also urged the national government to refocus its food security program in Mindanao.

Banayo named the Caraga and Davao regions as ideal pilot areas for the production of the staple food because of their prominence as the agribusiness hubs of the island.

In the same forum, Banayo also lauded the quality intervention of the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte, led by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, in achieving food sufficiency, as well as in mitigating the effects of climate change in the agricultural lands of the province.

The NFA official cited the province’s feat of remaining the biggest rice-producing province in the Davao region despite some factors.

Appropriate and adequate interventions, such as certified and hybrid seeds, improved irrigation system and farm-to-market roads, fertilizer subsidy and other assistance must be provided to ensure that farmers in the region are able to meet their production potential, he said.

After the success of these pilot areas, the program shall then be expanded to other potential regions of Mindanao.

Banayo revealed rice sufficiency in the country is now difficult to attain by 2013 after a series of natural calamities, particularly typhoons Pedring and Quiel that recently hit the country.

In order to meet the challenge of food security, the government must have to craft the right policies and programs now, to include refocusing its food security program to Mindanao.

He said Mindanao’s rich agricultural resources and generally fair tropical and relatively typhoon-free climate makes it an ideal location for a wide variety of economic activities, particularly intensive rice production. (PNA) DCT/FFC/FLL/ldp

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