centerpiece of National Rice Program planning for FY 2025

LEGAZPI CITY – To craft the blueprint for the FY 2025 programs and projects on rice, the National Rice Program convened all the 15 region’s top officials and rice program implementers for a workshop at a hotel here on February 26 to March 1, 2024.

The FY 2025 National Rice Program Plan and Budget Proposal Workshop was led by DA Assistant Secretary for Operations U-Nichols A. Manalo. Also in attendance were the Regional Executive Directors, Regional Technical Directors for Operation; Rice Program Regional Focal persons and Report Officers from 15 regions of the country.

Assistant Secretary Manalo discussed the FY 2025 Plans and Budget Proposal (PBP) Strategies and Directions which include the alignment of all programs, activities and projects with the four core strategies set under the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program (MRIDP) 2023-2028. Manalo added that the plans must contribute to the attainment of 97% rice sufficiency by 2028 through productive and profitable rice farms. The four core strategies of MRDIP are 1) MAtatag which aims for resiliency and stability in Climate Change Adaptation. “The main cropping season will shift from wet season to dry season, with the increase in coverage of hybrid rice seed support which will be distributed mostly during the dry season,” he added.

Another strategy is SAma-sama which will promote unity and convergence in Farm Clustering and Consolidation. Manalo said that in 2025, DA will prioritize rice clusters in providing interventions; ensure convergence of available interventions in these clusters. The National Rice Program will also engage the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); Local government Units (LGUs), Dept. of Interior and Local Government, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and other possible partners in clustering efforts. The 3rd strategy is GAnado which aims to engage enthusiastic farmers in the rice Value chain thru big brother – small brother approach, contract growing models and provision of postharvest facilities and machineries in rice clusters that are ready to be upgraded into an enterprise. The fourth strategy is NApapanahon which means focusing on digital transformation, timely delivery of interventions and development of climate smart maps to aid in program planning.

DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla, in his welcome remarks, said that Bicol Region is top 5 in rice production nationwide with close to 180,000 hectares area planted in 2023. The region’s total rice production last year was 1,302,648 metric tons, contributing 6.5% share in the national rice production.

Albay Governor Atty. Edcel Greco Lagman, was represented by Albay Provincial Agriculturist Cheryl O. Rebeta. She said that the workshop was a very good opportunity to discuss how the department could help rice farmers increase their income. She added that the Provincial LGU of Albay is giving P3.00 incentive to RSBSA-listed farmers who will sell their harvested palay to the National Food Authority. Congressman Joey S. Salceda of Albay 2nd district was represented by Joshua Barcelon while City Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal was represented by City Agriculturist Shiela Nas.

Also present were national representatives from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), National Food Authority (NFA), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (BAFE), and Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS). Also present were Emerson S. Yago, Director for Rice Clustering and Consolidation; Glenn DC. Estrada, Director for Digitalization; Dr. Santiago S. Obien, consultant of National Rice Program; DA Bicol OIC Regional Technical Director for Operations Dr. Mary Grace DP. Rodriguez; and Earl Vincent P. Vegas, DA 5 Rice Program focal person. (Lovella P. Guarin – RAFIS 5)(Photo credit: Eduardo Collantes, Jr.)

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