The Department of Agriculture (DA), through Asst. Sec. Dennis B. Araullo, announced that the country is all set in achieving enough food for the Filipinos with the submission of the Philippine Food Staples Self-Sufficiency and the National Food Authority Roadmaps for 2011-2016 to the Malacañang.
“The road to self-sufficiency is not well-paved yet. What we need to do, foremost, is to increase farmers’ income to make them believe rice farming is a profitable endeavor. This is the basic, most vital, requirement for attaining rice self-sufficiency,” Araullo, representing DA Sec. Proceso J. Alcala, said during the recent 24th National Rice Research and Development held at the Central Experiment Station of the Philippine Rice Research Institute.
Araullo, also the national program coordinator for rice and corn, reiterated the department’s goal of increasing palay production by at least 10% each year to be rice sufficient in 2013.
To boost palay production, DA will intensify investments in technologies, extension, and irrigation facilities. He further called on the extension workers, trainers, and technicians to encourage farmers to adopt the appropriate seeding rate to save on seeds.
Stressing the collective effort in reaching the administration’s top priority, DA urged consumers not to waste rice to minimize table wastes amounting to about 480,000 tons a year, valued at about P10 billion.
“We can achieve rice self-sufficiency by 2013…. My confidence in what rice researchers and development workers can do is unyielding. I will not stop believing in what you could produce and deliver,” Araullo told the about 600 participants across the country.