By Ma. Christian A. Ramos
Solsona Town Mayor Alexander Calucag, joined by Gov. Marcos received the 2016 National Rice Achiever award from the Department of Agriculture – Regional Agriculture and Fishery Extension Network 1 (DA-RAFEN 1) yesterday, August 2, for being one of the top rice producing municipalities in the Philippines.
Mayor Calucag received a plaque of recognition and a check for P1-million.
He said the cash prize will be used for the continuing benefit of farmers, “ibibili po natin ito ng mga punla at abono sa mga tatanimang bukid.”
The Province of Ilocos Norte has also been a recipient of the “Outstanding Rice Producer” title yearly since 2014.
According to Mrs. Luz L. Tabora, Provincial Rice Program Coordinator, the earlier cash prizes of the awards, amounting to P4-million, were used to sustain agricultural projects and intensify farming systems in the province.
“Dagitoy a proyekto ket continuing. Adda pay laeng dagitoy a maipaay kadagiti Appo a mannalon nga agmulmula ti pagay. Ma-provide’anda iti hybrid seeds, as well as organic and inorganic fertilizers nga adda iti dayta nga area. Ken adda wenno mabalin pay a maikkan ti rice-fish culture technology dagidiay mapaanayan.”
(Ang mga proyektong ito ay tuloy-tuloy. Nagagamit pa ito n gating mga magsasaka, lalo na sa mga nagsasaka ng palay. Mabibigyan sila ng hybrid seeds, at organic at inorganic fertilizers sa mga sakahan sa area. Mayroon, o pwede ring mabigyan ng rice-fish culture technology ang mga beneficiary.)
Last year, the province was also named by the DA as one of the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achiever Awardees for achieving rice sufficiency for the year 2015 with a 2.16% increase in rice production.
At the same symposium, Governor Marcos also urged participants of the event to maintain their efforts in promoting agriculture and entrepreneurship.
“Inaasahan kong sa pagsasama ng Department of Agriculture, tuloy-tuloy na nating mata-transform ang Northern Philippines into the same agriculture and entrepreneur hub that is Central Luzon.”
She also cited the “Agri-Negosyo” program of Senator Cynthia A. Villar, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, as an example of utilizing both new and conventional strategies to promote the country’s agricultural products.
“To see a lot of our products go to waste or perhaps sold at a meeker and seasonal prices is to see the misery that farmer’s life can be today.
owever, we have seen also great commercial experiments and entrepreneurs of enthusiasm who have shown the way for agricultural businesses for the future.
“Inaasahan ko sa inspirasyon ng Agri-Negosyo [ni Senator Villar] na sana’y tuloy-tuloy ang ating pagtitipon at pagpupunla ng magagandang mga negosyo base sa agrikultura,” Governor Marcos added.
RAFEN also launched the Kapatid Agri-Monitoring Program (KAMP) and the Directory Guide of Ilocandia which includes learning sites, school of practical agriculture, farm tourism sites, and private extension service providers in the Ilocos region.
The event also featured an expo showcasing agricultural products throughout the region including plants, poultry products, and cow milk processed goods, among others. – (Ma. Christian A. Ramos, PGIN-CMO)