Sun.Star Pampanga - - LIFE­STYLE! -

Ac­cord­ing to Gover­nor Lilia “Nanay” Pineda, the Capi­tol is rec­og­niz­ing their ef­forts to pro­duce rice for Ka­pam­pan­gans. May it be day or night, their in­ten­sive ef­forts to pro­vide food for the prov­ince is so much to thank for, she said.

“Dahil sa inyo kaya ang bawat pam­ilyang Ka­pam­pan­gan ay may na­ha­ha­pag na pagkain sa kani­lang mga tahanan. Ang Kapi­tolyo ay palag­ing nakaantabay sa inyo up­ang kayo ay tu­lun­gan sa in­y­ong mga pan­gan­gailan­gan (It is be­cause of you that each Ka­pam­pan­gan fam­ily has food on the ta­ble. The Capi­tol is al­ways ready to as­sist you in your needs),” she fur­thered.

For his part, Vice-Gover­nor Den­nis “Delta” Pineda as­sured the farm­ers that the pro­vin­cial govern­ment would strengthen sup­port for them. Ma­chiner­ies, equip­ment and seed de­vel­op­ment for them would be a pri­or­ity.

Mean­while, Third Dis­trict Board Mem­ber Ani­anas Can­las, Jr., chair­man of the Com­mit­tee on Agri­cul­ture and Agrar­ian Re­form, lauded the farm­ers for be­ing re­silient, es­pe­cially that to­day’s big­gest com­peti­tor is cli­mate change.

The lady gover­nor also in­vited Dr. Frisco Mal­a­banan, Se­nior Tech­ni­cal Pro­mo­tion Con­sul­tant, to dis­cuss to the farm­ers the 1-mil­lion hectare hy­brid rice in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion pr oj ect .

Mal­a­banan ex­plained to the at­ten­dees the per­for­mance of pad­dies in the coun­try from 2015-2018.

In 2018, palay pro­duc­tion de­creased by 1.14 per­cent as com­pared to 2017.

The area har­vested for palay de­creased from 4.81 mil­lion hectares to 4.80 mil­lion hectares from 2017 to 2018. Also, the recorded high­est av­er­age yield was 4.01 met­ric tons per hectare last 2017.

He also shared that Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Em­manuel Piñol is cam­paign­ing to ad­dress the fear and con­cerns of the rice in­dus­try on the Rice Tar­if­fi­ca­tion Act in the Philip­pines.

Gover­nor Pineda also re­it­er­ated the ad­van­tages of Tar­if­fi­ca­tion for the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try.

For Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Agri­cul­ture and Food Chair­per­son Cyn­thia Vil­lar, this would help lo­cal farm­ers to be more com­pet­i­tive.

“Be­cause in the re­cent lift­ing of quan­tity re­stric­tion, one of its im­pact is the lack of com­pet­i­tive­ness in the mar­ket that would even­tu­ally dis­cour­age the farmer to pro­duce rice,” she said.

The law, ac­cord­ing to her, pro­vided for a com­pet­i­tive en­hance­ment fund.

The fund would al­lot half to rice farm ma­chin­ery and equip­ment for el­i­gi­ble farmer groups, rice co­op­er­a­tives and lo­cal govern­ment units, while 30 per­cent will go to rice seed de­vel­op­ment, prop­a­ga­tion and pro­mo­tion, and 10 per­cent each to rice credit as­sis­tance and rice ex­ten­sion ser­vices.

This will also be a source of direct fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to farm­ers cul­ti­vat­ing two hectares and be­low in the form of com­pen­sa­tion for pro­jected losses.

Third Dis­trict Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Aure­lio “Dong” Gon­za­les, Jr. for his part, said that he will al­lot P80 mil­lion this year for the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try of the prov­ince.

Ac­cord­ing Pro­vin­cial Agri­cul­tur­ist) Edil­berto Salenga, each farmer re­ceived P1,300 mul­ti­plied by the mea­sure of hectares they owned.

Also present in the event were Sang­gu­ni­ang Pan­lalaw­igan mem­bers, Pro­vin­cial Dis­as­ter Risk Re­duc­tion and Man­age­ment Of­fi­cer Angie Blanco, Pro­vin­cial So­cial Wel­fare and De­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cer El­iz­a­beth Bay­bayan, DA Re­gional Di­rec­tor Crispulo Baustita, Jr. and Mit­i­ga­tions Pro­gram of Na­tional Ir­ri­ga­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion head Engr. Is­abelito Bi­tan­gol.

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