Members of the Albatana Blucon Malabis of Davao del Sur , APPRA’s Outstanding Irrigators Association
regularly checks the irrigation canal to ensure adequate water supply flows to their rice fields. (Photo by Che Palicte)
Davao region bagged the major awards during the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Award (APRAA) held recently in Manila. Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Compostela Valley were among the top 10 awardees for the provincial category.
APPRAA is an annual search of the Department of Agriculture to recognize the country’s top rice producers. Adjudged top performing LGUs and farmers’ organizations were given cash incentives through Department of Agriculture (DA) Rice Program. The contest also aims to encourage commitment and ensure excellent performance of the LGU stakeholders and famers’ organizations to further increase yield and improve quality of their produce. This in turn will help the country meet its rice self-sufficiency target.
Among the three winner provinces, Davao del Sur emerged on the top rank for Region 11 as the province registers an average growth rate of 2% per year for the past six (6) years. With this scenario, the farmers still generated marginal and if not, subsistence income from their production because of high production cost and low price during harvest season.
Another key factor in achieving APRAA is the support of local officials to rice production of Davao del Sur Governor Claude Bautista said that the province has allocated P300 million in support to the rice-farm mechanization.
“We need to unite and set parameters to identify actual demand and the volume requirement for rice production so that we can eliminate surplus and stabilize prices of rice,” Bautista added.
Apart from the successful provinces, Banaybanay, Davao Oriental won as the outstanding municipality, while San Isidro Farmers Association of Davao del Norte and Albatana Blucon Malabis from Davao del Sur won as the Outstanding Irrigators Association respectively.
The winning provinces received P4-million each while the outstanding municipality received P1-million. The cash grants will be utilized to further enhance rice production in the three provinces.
Moreover, 12 outstanding agricultural extension workers (AEW’s) and one local farmer technicians (LFT’s) from Davao region were also recognized for and received P20,000 each.
Director Remelyn Recoter said that remarkable performance of the three provinces has significantly contributed to the increased of rice production in the region from 421,692 metric tons (MT) in 2013 to 452, 267.00 metric tons (MT) in 2014.
"We commend our local officials and farmer leaders including the agricultural extension workers for partnering with DA in ensuring that the necessary interventions such as production support, infrastructure, and technical assistance are in place to boost rice production in the region," Recoter said. (Mishel C. Castilla/Verceli Reambonanza – DA-RAFIS 11)