Apart from producing bananas and coconuts, the Department of Agriculture Region XI aims for rice self-sufficiency in Davao.
“We will not be relying much on the import. We should not abandon our own rice,” DA-11 Regional Director Ricardo M. Oñate Jr. said.
The regional director mentioned that DA is initiating programs that will support towns to produce rice in order to meet the local demand.
” The DA-11 plans to help farmers form cooperatives for easier access to financial and technical assistance from government, including the annual P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) provided under Republic Act 1123, the Rice Tariffication Law,” report from Business World.
According to data obtained from DA, there are 23 existing farmer-associations which are expected to receive P67.6 million worth of machineries that will be purchased through the RCEF. Respectively, another set of machineries costing P104 million are awaiting approval.
Rice Self-sufficiency in Davao del Norte
Further, Sto Tomas and Carmen are the first towns wherein DA conducted discussion. These are also the areas where rice land have been allocated. Asuncion, another town, is also a target place for the project.
“The provincial government of Davao del Norte said it would look at buying palay, or unmilled rice, from farmers to increase farmgate prices to P19 per kilo from the current P12 as well as to ensure sufficiency of local supply ,” Oñate mentioned.
“The province is also planning to set up its own rice production complex, similar to the one in Matanao, Davao del Sur,” the director added.