DA, PCAF conclude island-wide rice consultations; gear up for nat’l summit

The last leg of the island-wide rice consultations was held last January 26-27 in Cebu City. The consolidated output of the consultations will be presented during the National Rice Summit.

Rice stakeholders in Visayas discussed strategies towards a sustainable and competitive rice industry during the Visayas-wide Rice Consultation in Cebu City last January 26-27.

Discussions during the consultation focused on seeds and other inputs, labor and mechanization, postharvest, irrigation, marketing and value chain, organic rice farming, credit, guarantee and insurance, farming system and institutional arrangements and delivery system.

Among the recommendations given were subsidized irrigation fees and investment in Small Water Impounding Projects, address issues on watershed degradation, farm mechanization, promotion on the use of organic fertilizers, provision of seed banks to local government units (LGUs) and fertilizer to farmers, assigning a Technical Working Group or focal person per region that will assist farmer applicants in preparing the requirements for the Farm Mechanization Program and rent-to-own program for farm machineries.

Representatives from the concerned Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Offices, local government units, rice farmer-organizations, business sector, Agriculture and Fishery Councils and civil society organizations participated in the undertaking.

Preceding the Visayas-wide rice consultation are the Mindanao and Luzon legs of the undertaking which were held in Davao City and Quezon City December last year.

Organized by the DA and PCAF, the series of island-wide consultations aimed to gather inputs from rice stakeholders all over the country which will be consolidated for presentation and deliberation during the National Rice Summit.

The National Rice Summit aims to provide a venue among the key rice stakeholder to arrive at a consensus on a strategic framework for a competitive and sustainable rice industry by 2017.

It is an offshoot of PCAF Committee on Food Staples Resolution No. 8, series of 2014 which recommended the creation of a Convergence Task Force to ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of the Philippine rice industry.

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