The Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office 6 has recognized the significant contributions of its local agricultural service providers to the development of the rice industry in Western Visayas during the 2014 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awarding Ceremony held Monday.
A total of 58 technicians from the provinces of Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo and Negros Occidental were awarded as Outstanding Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs). Each of them received a plaque of recognition and P20, 000 cash incentive.
Five local farmer technicians (LFT)—two from Passi City, one from Pavia and two from Sta. Barbara, Iloilo—have also received plaque of recognition and P20, 000 each as Outstanding LFTs.
The municipalities of Dingle, Iloilo and Dumalag, Capiz were given special citations as the region’s outstanding municipalities which have successful implementations of the National Rice Program such as the utilization of high quality seeds of at least 50% of the total seed requirement and have attained a minimum average yield of 4.0tons per hectare.
Furthermore, the Municipality of San Enrique, Iloilo was awarded as one of the 10 outstanding municipalities nationwide in the awarding ceremony held at Resorts World Manila last March 26. Mayor Ramona Palabrica-Go with the municipal agricultural extension workers received a plaque of recognition and P1 million cash award.
DA aims to achieve rice self-sufficiency at the earliest by 2013 and will be sustained until 2016 and beyond. In 2014, the country’s rice industry has reached an all-time high national production of 18.97 million metric tons with a production growth of 2.87 percent.
“This rice achievers award is just one of the many other interventions and incentives to farmers given by the DA National Rice Program in order to encourage the full commitment and ensure excellent performance of our LGU stakeholders in attaining rice self-sufficiency,” said DA 6 Regional Technical Director for Operations and Extension Manuel O. Olanday.
He further challenged the LGUs, AEWs and LFTs to strengthen their efforts in order to maintain the region’s rank in the rice production nationwide. “Last year, we are top three in the national rice production with 10.9% contribution,” added Olanday.
Mayor Go, on the otherhand, poses a challenge to other local chief executives to fully support their agricultural programs and empower their AEWs and LFTs in the best ways they can.
Ma. Frea Monsale, an outstanding AEW of Miagao and Myrna Reyes, an outstanding LFT of Passi City, thanked the DA 6 for recognizing their efforts and further encouraged their co-awardees to continue their support to small-holder rice farmers by extending up-to-date production technologies and providing them marketing linkages.