The Province of Ilocos Norte’s cash award from the Department of Agriculture (DA) amounting to P4-M for achieving rice sufficiency for the year 2015 will be used to purchase agricultural machineries and fund seed grower cooperatives, revealed by the Provincial Agriculture Office.
For the third time, Governor Imee Marcos personally received the cash prize along with a plaque of recognition during the Agri-Pinoy Achievers Awarding Ceremony on April 20, 2016 in Manila.
“The award is intended to purchase post-harvest facilities including combined harvesters and threshers in order to further help our farmers by minimizing their harvest expenses,” said Provincial Agriculture Officer Norma Lagmay.
Lagmay added that two multipurpose cooperatives (MPC) in the province, namely the One Ilocos Norte Seed Growers MPC and Ilocos Norte Seed Growers MPC, will be given additional fund amounting to half a million pesos.
A part of the cash prize will also be used to improve the Provincial Agriculture building as well as to purchase a computer and vehicle.
“We will continue to conduct agricultural trainings for our local farmers and fishermen in order to equip them with skills in the production, processing, marketing and developing local products,” Lagmay concluded.
Launched on 2011, the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards aims to encourage the full support and participation of Local Government Units, Irrigators’ Associations, Small Water Impounding Systems Associations and Agricultural Extension Workers as well as to recognize their efforts and contribution in prioritizing rice-related projects, using quality seeds and appropriate technologies for attaining high rice sufficiency in the Philippines.
Lagmay shared that “for the year 2015, Ilocos Norte’s rice production increased by 2.16% compared to 2014 and the surplus production improved by 4.82% from 165.27% in 2014 to 173.23% in 2015.”
Through its flagship agriculture program ‘Paspas Dur-as Biag ti Away,’ (rapid development in the rural areas), the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte continues to enhance the productivity of the agriculture sector by providing support to Ilocano farmers as well as improving farming practices across the province.—Jennifer T. Pambid, PGIN-CMO