Antique tops in rice sufficiency level in Region 6
San Jose, Antique (21 November) -- "The Province of Antique is tops in rice sufficiency level in Region 6 with 178%".
Thus said Concepcion Cepe, Asst. Provincial Agriculturist during the Energy and Food Security Information Caravan in the Municipality of Tibiao.
Antique is a known agricultural province with a total area of 124,248 hectares, 41,764 has. of which are riceland (rainfed/upland and irrigated). Other areas are planted with corn, sugar cane, mango, banana, coffee and other crops. There are 53,994 households engaged in farming, 48,595 are into rice farming with an average landholding of.9 hectares per farmer.
Data showed that the country's average yield in 2007 is 3.8 metric tons per hectare and Region 6 has 3.32mt/ha. Antique is slightly above the region's data with 3.34 mt/ha. The towns of Sibalom, Culasi and Bugasong are the highest palay producing towns.
Since Antique is a surplus province in terms of rice production, sufficiency level is in increasing trend from 168 in 2006 and 178 percent last year.
The Provincial Government of Antique has placed Food Security on top of its agenda with the goal of maintaining rice sufficiency level through improve farm productivity and increase income of farmers.
In response to the national endeavor of mitigating the global crisis on food and energy, Antique has submitted a Rice Sufficiency Plan with a total budget requirement of P1.15 billion.
The Rice Sufficiency Plan has an overriding principle of sustainable development through promotion of natural farming system and low cost production technology. FIELDS program of the Department of Agriculture is the framework giving emphasis on Fertilizer assistance, Irrigation projects, Extension services- providing farmers with technical assistance, Loan available for palay production, Dryers and other post harvest facilities and Seed production to ensure rice sustainability.
Vice Mayor Geronimo P. Flores, Jr. of Tibiao during the caravan said that given the vast farmlands which can be source of food and income, people need to be industrious and do its share to attain food sufficiency. We have no reason to have food shortage, all we need are government support, technology and hardworking people to produce food for the family, he said.
The Provincial Speakers Bureau on Energy and Food Security is doubling its efforts in conducting Information Caravan in different municipalities in the province to raise public consciousness on the need to save energy and food and mobilize communities and families to help in mitigating the looming effect of global crisis.
Participating agencies are the municipal government units which shared their resources in organizing the activity at the local level, National Irrigation Administration, National Food Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Offices of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), Veterinarian (PROVET) Planning and Development Office under the Provincial Government and the Philippine Information Agency. (PIA) [top]