Legazpi City posts satisfactory rice-sufficiency level

January 8, 2015 1:35 am 

By Emmanuel P. Solis

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 7 (PNA) — Despite the small area of agricultural lands in this fast-developing city, the City Agriculture Office has recorded 34.17-percent rice-sufficiency level in 2014, 32 percent higher than in 2013.

City Agriculturist Jesus Kallos said in an interview Wednesday that this improvement was the result of the strong support to the agricultural sector by Mayor Noel E. Rosal, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Irrigation Authority (NIA).

Kallos said this achievement can be attributed to the maximization of the use of rice field areas and the application of rice farming technology through proper land and water management, the usage of high-quality hybrid rice seedlings, post-harvest facilities, fertilizer management and conduct of several training sessions and seminars on the best farming strategy participated in by the members of the city’s farmers’ organizations.

He said the city’s hybrid rice program has a separate budget of Php1 million spent in every cropping cycle.

The budget is for the purchase of high-quality seeds, fertilizers and other agricultural inputs used by the farmers.

In December last year, Rosal turned over three complete sets of farm tractor, two threshers with accessories and irrigation pumps that will be used to facilitate the farming activities of the farmers in order to produce more agricultural products.

“This aims to ensure that local foods and other agricultural commodities are always available and affordable for the daily consumption of the people in the community,” Kallos said.

He revealed that the purchase of farm machineries was part of the Php1 million cash reward given by the Department Agriculture during the 2013 Rice Achiever Award, with the City Government of Legazpi as among the winners.

The DA Bicol Regional Office turned over last year to the City Administration Php4 million for the construction of a farm-to-market road in the southern village of Cagbacong to hasten the transport of agricultural products from the villages down to the commercial site of this city.

A 75-hectare vacant area in that place is now on the CAO’s drawing board to be developed into rice field, Kallos pointed out.

The city agriculturist said the DA also distributed last year to the city’s farmers organizations three threshers, three tractors and other farm machineries to help them in their daily farming activities.

The NIA has also made a strong support to the city’s agricultural sector that resulted in the completion of six irrigation projects in the identified rice areas in the villages of Tamaoyan, San Joaquin, Maslog, Bagong Abre, Banquerohan and San Francisco.

The projects materialized through the counter-parting agreement between the City Government of Legazpi and the NIA.

Kallos said one of the best practices of his office was the very good collaboration of the farmers organizations and the city administration.

“Almost all the projects of this office came from the recommendations and suggestions of the farmers and all of these were submitted to the Office of the City Chief Executive and to the DA,” he added.

To address the high cost of fertilizers, Kallos said his office entered into an agreement with the ELR Corp. for the manufacture of organic input and that the first 100 bags of this organic fertilizer will be given on Jan. 27.

This program would reduce the usage of inorganic fertilizers and enable the farmers to spend less in their farming activities.

ELR Corp. is based in Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija and is now recognized as one of top producers of organic fertilizers being exported to China, Korea, Vietnam, United States, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and other countries. (PNA)

CTB/FGS/EPS/CBD/

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