Department of Agriculture (DA) 6 Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter detailed the Project “Maunlad na Agrikultura sa Nayon” (MANa) among municipal agriculturists and rice program coordinators of the province of Guimaras during a recently held Municipal Agriculture Officers (MAOs) meeting.
Project MANA, according to Director Recoter, aims to rehabilitate El Niño damaged areas and to prepare mitigation plans for La Niña comes the last quarter of the year. “Another component of this Project is the expansion of one million hectares of rice areas in the country,” she added.
As a special project of DA, MANa would espouse an enhanced provision of agricultural investments and services that would empower greater number of farmers and fisherfolk. It also encompasses the overall priority thrust of the Department towards attainment of food security and self-sufficiency.
Based on a report, 85 percent of Guimaras’ 11,000 hectares rice areas are rainfed.
“We are hoping that the municipal agriculturists together with the Provincial Office for Agricultural Services will be able to identify 100 hectares or more rainfed areas so that the DA could provide assistance through the small scale irrigation projects,” Director Recoter explained.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol has new policy directives that will complement the purpose of Project MANA. It includes the establishment of a color-coded map that is being worked out by the Bureau of Soils and Water Management and the Regional Soils Laboratory. This is to help the agency in determining suitable and vulnerable areas for crop production. On other hand, Sec. Piñol also pushes for the national food consumption quantification survey, redirects agency’s focus in facilitating farmers’ food production, and strengthens technology adoption among farmers.
“We gear towards food affordability and availability. To materialize that, the farmers should use modern farm technologies that will eventually reduce the production costs, thereby increasing their profitability,” Director Recoter pointed out.
She also added that the agriculture chief allots P1 million fund per region to be loaned to farmers through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council. This will help the DA in the expansion of one million hectare rice areas and in the attainment of food self-sufficiency by 2019. # (SMHToreno)