The Department of Agriculture (DA) recognized the top rice producing provinces and municipalities during the 2015 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards (APRAA) at the Resorts World Manila, April 20.
DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the combined efforts of hardworking farmers, local government units (LGUs), and DA is key in achieving more than18M metric tons annual rice yield in the past five years.
He also reported that the Philippines is acclaimed as one of the countries that has recorded the fastest gains in rice production with 2.8% increase from 2010 to 2015.
The five outstanding rice producing provinces in 2015 are Ilocos Norte, Nueva Vizcaya, Occidental Mindoro, Davao Del Norte, and Davao Oriental. Each received a trophy and P4 M worth of agricultural project grants.
Nueva Ecija provincial agriculturist Serafin Santos said that the provincial government plans to acquire and set-up a mobile soil laboratory to help farmers determine the best planting locations.
The province received the Hall of Fame award for having won APRRA three times along with Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Bulacan, Occidental Mindoro, and Davao del Sur.
“We used the cash prize to further expand our production. Aside from institutionalizing a farmers’ loan system, some of the cash prize was invested in the hybrid rice production program of the province, including research and development initiatives for improved production,” Santos said.
Shortlisted provinces namely La Union, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Leyte, Bukidnon, and Lanao del Norte also received a trophy and check worth P500, 000.
The 16 top rice producing municipalities are the following: Vintar, Ilocos Norte; San Manuel, Isabela; San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija; Pila, Laguna; Narra, Palawan; Naga City, Camarines Sur; San Enrique, Iloilo; Carmen, Bohol; Tabontabon, Leyte; Molave, Zamboanga del Sur; Lala, Lanao del Norte; Magsaysay, Davao del Sur; Midsayap, Cotabato; Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur; Santa Marcela, Apayao; and Datu Paglas, Maguindanao. Winners received P1M worth of project grants.
The criteria for outstanding provinces and municipalities are 2015 production and yield growth, planting accomplishment, percent of contribution to the national and provincial production, and high quality seeds utilization.
Five outstanding irrigators’ associations (IAs), three small water impounding system associations (SWISAs), 398 agricultural extension workers (AEWs), and 83 local farmer technicians (LFTs) were also recognized based on the 2015 production and yield growth of covered barangays and cluster, number of farmers assisted, training programs conducted, techno demo established, number of rice-related trainings attended from 2013 to 2015, and accuracy and timeliness of report submitted.
IAs and SWISAs received P1M and P500, 000 worth of project grants, respectively. Individual winners were given P20, 000 cash incentive.
APRAA, launched in 2011, is an annual event spearheaded by DA National Rice Program to encourage the full participation of the LGUs and other stakeholders in rice production and to sustain their awareness, support, and commitment to attain food sufficiency.