DavOr is among the Country’s Top Rice Achievers

The Rice Agri Achievers Awardees and Gawad Saka Agri-Fisheries Awardees with PAGRI Head Rotchie Ravelo (second from left), DA XI Regional Director Ricardo Oñate Jr. (fifth from left), and San Isidro Municipal Mayor Justina MB Yu (center).

DAVAO ORIENTAL—The Province of Davao Oriental has surpassed the national average yield for rice production, making it one of the twelve provinces in the country conferred with this year’s Outstanding Rice Achievers Award by the Department of Agriculture.

The province achieved an average yield of 4.50 metric tons per hectare, which is higher than the national average yield of 4.08 metric tons per hectare in 2016.

During the Gawad Saka and Rice Achievers Awarding Ceremony on May 31 held at TESDA XI Regional Training Center in Davao City, the province received the recognition for being an outstanding rice producer.

PAGRI conducts research and development services in relation to the implementation of integrated and sustainable crop management technologies.

Rotchie Ravelo, Department Head of the Provincial Agriculture Office, cited various production and extension support services that significantly increased the province’s rice production volume. These include education and trainings for farmers on technology adoption by planting hybrid rice for a higher rice production per hectare. Also helped in boosting rice production is the rice Hybridization Program which was started in year 2015. Through this program an increase of 15-20% in rice production is being projected.

In its bid to achieve full rice self-sufficiency, the Provincial Government has poured down support to programs touted to increase rice production. A P5 million budget allocation was recently approved by Governor Nelson Dayanghirang for the Rice Hybridization Program. In addition, the Governor has been extending assistance to poor farmers through his flagship program Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental (NLD) Barangay Outreach Caravan, which channels support from different agriculture agencies to farmers that ranges from provision of various planting seeds to provision of farm implements, among many others. The completion of the Cateel Irrigation Dam in 2014, covering 1,600 hectares of rice farms further boosted the province’s rice production, Ravelo said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture has previously pledged its support to strengthening the capability of the irrigation facilities and irrigators associations in partnership with the National Irrigation Administration.

“These are just some of our relevant efforts undertaken to remain as one of the top producers of good quality rice in different varieties,” Ravelo added, noting the different program policies implemented by the Provincial Government here such as the Sustainable Agriculture Village Enterprise (SAVE) to upscale farming methods by practicing organic farming, adopting climate change adaptation strategies, and integrating entrepreneurship through value-adding farming.

Being a third-time Outstanding Rice Agri-Achiever awardee, the province received P500,000 cash prize which will be used as augmentation fund for more programs towards defeating poverty and achieving full rice self-sufficiency level by year 2018.

Meanwhile, aside from conferring recognition to rice achievers, the awarding ceremony also celebrated the contributions of farmers, fisherfolk and livestock raisers in the region. From Davao Oriental, there were five Agriculture Extension Workers (AEW) and one Local Farmer Technician (LFT) who were awarded as Outstanding Rice Achievers under the AEW and LFT categories, while four farmers have received recognition as Outstanding Gawad Saka Agri-Fishery Awardees.

The Gawad Saka Award and the Rice Achievers Award are annual activities of the DA to motivate farmers and rice-producing provinces, cities, municipalities and its constituents to advance its farming and local rice production in conformity to the thrust of the current administration which is to achieve availability and affordability of food for every Filipino. By Riza Golez

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