BAGUIO CITY -The Department of Agriculture will pour about P300 million assistance to the waning heirloom rice industry in 2017.
A recent visit of Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Pinol resulted to positive developments and changes the Department will do in the industry. Among these is the categorization of the heirloom rice as high value crop.
DA- Cordillera Regional Director Lorenzo Caranguian said the assistance will include the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged rice terraces and massive training of farmers with the aim of adding other sources of income.
Towards this end, the Department also plans to give two cattle to every farmer to milk for value adding.
DA also aims to mechanize some of the indigenous methods of farming employed without necessary altering the produce.
The assistance is part of the Government’s goal of rice sufficiency by 2019.
The 2015 Cordillera’s Economic Performance revealed that among the sectors contributing to economic growth, Agriculture is the only sector that poised negative growth which contracted by 4.1 percent.
Caranguian explained that the loss of 7000 hectares standing crop of rice in Kalinga and climate change that brought Two Typhoons in the country contributed to the negative growth.
He added that the heirloom rice industry which spans 12 hectares in the province of Ifugao is pulling the region “down in terms of yield”.
The P300M for the heirloom rice industry, which is on top of the regular DA funding is seen to make positive growth for the agriculture sector in the region./JDP/BKQ-PIA CAR