Eastern Visayas eyes higher rice yield in 2017
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is eyeing a rice production of 966,331 metric tons (MT) in Eastern Visayas this year, 1.2 percent higher than the 2016 output.
The department sees an output rebound after staple food production plunged to 954,844 MT last year from 955,844 in 2015 due to flooding and a prolonged dry season.
“We aim to have a positive growth in rice production this year, that is why we focus our interventions on adverse ecosystems, such as drought-prone and saline-prone areas,” said Ma. Remedios Ambida, DA regional rice program focal person.
She added that the agriculture department will provide certified seeds and fertilizers to identified vulnerable areas.
The official said on Friday that the DA regional office here will fast-track procurements so that positioning of interventions will kick off this April and will reach farmers before the peak of cropping period in June.
Eastern Visayas’ rice program generally focuses on raising the region’s contribution to the overall national production output by means of improving farmers’ yield, maximizing potential cropping intensity, and increasing farmers’ income.
“We hope to attain our target rice production this 2017 and we are giving our best to be able to provide the proper interventions, proper support in terms of technical know-how, and knowledge transfer,” Ambida said.
Eastern Visayas is predominantly a farming region, with at least 723,048 hectares of land devoted to farming. The area accounts for 31.09 percent of the region’s 2.32 million-hectare land area.
Of the total farmlands, 282,153 hectares or 39 percent are planted with rice. Leyte province is the major rice producer in Eastern Visayas, having a total production of 473,580 MT in 2016. (PNA)