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PIA Press Release
2008/08/15

Negros gov talks on food security in executive report

Negros Occidental (15 August) -- Governor Isidro Zayco after assuming the governorship following the death of Gov. Joseph Maraņon delivered his first State of the Province Address recently.

In his executive report, Zayco used the acronym HEARTS PLUS which is still in line with the seven-point agenda of the late Gov. Maraņon with additional services to respond to the needs of the times.

HEARTS PLUS refers to programs and projects focusing on Health, Environment, Agriculture, Roads and other Infrastructure, Tourism, Trade & Investments, Social Services, including Education; Personnel and Human Resource Development, Livelihood and Employment Opportunities, Urban Planning and Rural Development, and Systems and Governance.

Zayco revealed that Negros Occidental is now 92.2 percent rice sufficient and is well on its way to reach the 100 percent rice sufficiency by next year.

The agriculture sector in the province is also affected by the increase in rise in prices of rice, fuel and other farm inputs, as a response, the provincial government allocated P79.8 million pesos under the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist for seed distribution, farm equipments, post-harvest facilities, assistance for fertilizer and other inputs, rehabilitation of communal irrigation projects, and production support.

The province also requested the National Food Authority to increase its buffer stock by 100 percent to fill in the demand of the province for cheaper rice in the market as well as the establishment of more Bigasan ng Bayan outlets. It has also closely coordinated the release of NFA access cards for low-priced rice for the poorest of the poor.

Nature also allowed farmers to plant early with more rains in the province which eventually increased rice supply with an increase in rice yield by five percent in the first semester of the year. This translates to an increase by one million bags equivalent to 40 days supply for the province.

With the expected release of the fertilizer subsidy through the discount coupons from the Department of Agriculture to the 13 cities and 19 towns in the province, sustained productivity and rice sufficiency is not far from reach. (PIA/EAD) [top]

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