Department of Agriculture (DA) 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter talked on the policy directives for the agriculture sector during the monthly regular meetings of the Municipal Agriculturist (MAs) of the six provinces in the region.
Director Recoter who has assumed office as DA 6 Head last July 18 started her meetings with the MAs last August 9 by attending Iloilo MAs monthly meeting at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol, then on August 10 with Antique MAs at Tobias Fornier Municipal Hall and on August 11 with Guimaras MAs at Guimaras Provincial Capitol and on August 12 with Capiz MAs.
The policy directives aimed to lay down the foundation of the new administration’s program towards rice self-sufficiency by the end of the term of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
She said that the Maunlad na Agrikultura sa Nayon (MANa) project is a six month initiative of the department to use science-based tools to facilitate gathering of accurate information by direct observation in the farms. “These accurate data will ultimately serve as a foundation for reliable programs and intervention for the agriculture sector,” Director Recoter added.
Through project MANa, the DA will enhance production of hybrid rice to all irrigated rice farmers by giving all seeds, fertilizers and insurance coverage to ensure 10 to 14% increase in production and income in a cycle of five cropping seasons which will start next year.
The department will also fast tract the rehabilitation of El Niño affected areas by providing rice and corn seeds intervention and prepare for the forecasted La Niña occurrence later this year.
Recoter said that there will be expansion of one million hectares nationwide for irrigated areas which will come from existing rain fed areas and other unutilized lands through the provision of small scale irrigation projects (SSIPs) in coordination with the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM).
She said that encouraged all MAs to help identify potential irrigable areas in their respective towns and extend logistics to DA-BSWM validating teams when they arrived for validation.
BSWM was also mandated to produce color-coded agriculture guide map which will determine a particular commodity or agricultural activity best suited in an area based on geography, climate and soil conditions.
The National Food Consumption Quantification survey will be conducted to determine what food and the volume of food commodities a certain area consume to better determine the regions food requirement.
Director Recoter also shared that there will be intensified agri. technology dissemination, continuance of financing programs like Sikat Saka, ACPC programs, Agriculture and Fisheries Financing Programs (AFFP) and agrarian reform financing.
Postharvest provision to ensure decrease in production losses, marketing activities, collaboration for the protection of watershed areas and enforcement of agri-fishery laws will be undertaken.
She stressed that DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has suspended land conversions and move for the introduction of basic agriculture in Elementary Curriculum.
Recoter who successfully led DA Region 11/Davao Region for three and a half years vows to elevate Western Visayas especially Iloilo to become once again the rice granary of the country with the completion of the Jalaur River Dam.#(JEEOgatis)