Philippines raises rice production target to 19MMT by 2010

Jul. 10, 2007

MANILA — The Philippine government is putting in place intervention measures for the palay sector to boost production to 19.058 million metric tons (MMT) by 2010 and help drive annual growth of agriculture to 5-6 percent over the next three years.

Executive Director Frisco Malabanan, who oversees the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) Rice Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), said these measures form part of the DAs five-point program to boost farm productivity and raise rural incomes, which focuses on infrastructure, technology and extension services, postharvest and storage facilities, rural credit, and new markets here and abroad for local produce.

He said the DAs target of increasing palay production by 5.87 percent from 15.33 million MT in 2006 to 16.23 million MT this year, can be achieved through the continued implementation of the hybrid seed program, the repair and rehabilitation of irrigation facilities, and construction of more postharvest facilities and farm-to-market roads.

For 2008, the DA expects palay production to reach 17.158 million MT to boost the countrys rice sufficiency level to 92.83 percent.

In 2009, it is targeting palay production to reach 18.205 million MT, and to 19.058 million MT by 2010, Malabanan said.

He said the DA would continue to provide financial assistance aid to palay farmers at P1,000 per 20 kilograms for hybrid seeds and P440 per 40 kg. of certified seeds covering 600,000 hectares of rain-fed lowland areas.

To complement the program, Malabanan said the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) implemented rehabilitation of its facilities covering some 41,209 hectares of farmland, and restoration of its national and communal systems that will generate 55,000 hectares of irrigated lands for the year.

He said the GMA Rice Program will also coordinate with other government agencies such as the Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension (BPRE), the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the National Food Authority (NFA), the NIA, and the regional units of the DA to provide 500 drying facilities to irrigators association clusters in 37 priority provinces.

Also part of the intervention is the construction of more farm-to-market roads to link rice clusters to trader-millers; improve existing, and develop new, rice varieties; facilitate the access of farmers to micro-financing; mount information campaigns on improving palay production; enhance its clustering strategy for rice lands and carry out more rice techno demonstrations and training programs for farmers, Malabanan noted.

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