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New Marcos rice farming model consolidates land, promises almost double yield

The Marcos program represents land and farming process consolidation, grouping local rice growers to form compact rice areas of at least 1000 hectares

KORONADAL CITY, Philippines — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. pushed a new corporate approach in rice production as he led the launch of the Consolidated Rice Production and Mechanization Program (CRPMP) on Wednesday, June 14.

Addressing farmers at a pilot rice farm in Barangay Liwanay, Banga town, South Cotabato, Marcos, who is also the country’s agriculture secretary, said the new program would address the country’s problems in rice and food sufficiency.

The CRPMP is a pet project of South Cotabato governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr, the president of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), Marcos’s political party in the 2022 presidential elections.

The project’s pilot farm in barangay Dajay in Surallah town involves 94 farmers and 210 hectares of rice land.

This will then expand to 1,400 hectares in the towns of Tantangan, Norala, Sto. Niño, Banga, and in Koronadal City, the governor said.

The Marcos program represents land re-consolidation for economic scale, grouping local rice farmers to form compact rice areas of at least 1000 hectares.

Higher yield

When Marcos asked Tamayo what yields the CRPMP offers, the governor said eight metric tons (MT) per hectare.

That figure is 179% of the Philippine Rice Research Institute‘s 2022 average national rice yield of 4.47MT/hectare.

Marcos seemed impress by Tamayo’s response. “Balitaan mo ako kapag nagharvest na kayo at babalik ako para makamayan kayo,” he told the governor.

Marcos handed to Tamayo a check worth P115.3 million to jumpstart the program, which sets up a facility with an array of equipment needed from production, processing, and all the way to bringing products to market centers.

Soccsksargen region agriculture director John Pascual said the funds would be earmarked for a warehouse and a rice processing center, the procurement of trucks, farm machineries, hybrid seeds, fertilizers, and other farm inputs.

Challenge

The president said the Philippines needs to improve rice yields due to the tight imports supply in Southeast Asia, which the country experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Thailand and Vietnam, two major rice suppliers, refused to export to us because they want to give priority to their domestic requirements,” he said in his speech.

Tight supply sent food prices spiking, a situation worsened by the rising cost of farm inputs, he added.

The president said the consolidated program is part of his thrust to pool together resources and functions to help farmers, by reducing the cost of inputs and processing.

He noted that the new program would plug the production losses from the traditional method of drying rice harvests on roadsides.

Marcos said he hoped farmers in South Cotabato would do away with the traditional method of drying their rice harvests on roadsides.

“Kahit basa iyong palay, puwede nang dalhin dito sa malaking complex,” said the President. (Even when the palay is yet, we can bring it to this big complex.)

He also claimed the CRPMP would break the old model of middlemen getting the better of farmers, as the the government program would set up a corporation to market the rice.

“This will allow global competitiveness among the province’s rice growers through practices of climate resilience, good agriculture, low-cost production, efficient farm mechanization and value adding strategies,” Tamayo said. – Rappler.com

At the South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center in Koronadal, Tamayo presented to the president a copy of the South Cotabato Province-wide Health System (SC-PWHS) and Referral Manual.

Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit Officer Dr. Alah Baby Vingno said the UCHP will cover residents even in the most remote villages of the province.

The health program will give access to the public on various health services of the provincial government life free medicine and laboratory examinations.

https://www.rappler.com/nation/mindanao/marcos-rice-farming-consolidates-land-promises-double-yield/ QR Code

Published Date: June 14, 2023

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