Sunday, July 20, 2008

KGMA News 7/21/08 VCO

Davao City -- The Philippine government is now optimizing the
production of rice to meet the local needs and consumption. This is
supported with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's order suspending
the processing and approval of all land conversion applications of
rice lands for two years.

This was favored by the national government as the trend showed a
significant increase of land conversion from rice farm to other
agricultural plantation. This is also believed to have contributed to
the poor rice production in the country.

President Arroyo then found it necessary to protect rice lands from
massive conversion strategies in order to ensure sufficiency of rice
supply in the country.

It is reported that the country gets 90 percent of its rice
requirement from local production while the other 10 percent is
imported from Vietnam and Thailand.

With the implemented programs of the national government, it is
believed that the country can attain self-sufficiency on rice in five

Department of Agriculture Roger Chio said that both national and local
leaders are working together to combat food crisis and that the local
leaders are the frontline of the program implementation.

This is also complimented by the Department of Agriculture's
F.I.E.L.D.S. program, a P43.7 billion package of intervention that is
also poised to reduce the impact of the food crisis.

F.I.E.L.D.S. stands for Fertilizer, Irrigation, Education and Training
for farmers and fisher folk, Loans, Dryers and other post-harvest
facilities, and Seeds of the high-yielding, hybrid varieties. (PIA)

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