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PIA Press Release

DAF ARMM projects an increase in rice production output

RICC Cotabato City (14 October) -- A continuous regionwide drive is being undertaken by the officials, line agencies, stakeholders and local government units (LGUs) to ensure food security and self-sufficiency in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Thus, stressed newly appointed Regional Secretary Keise Tan Usman of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in the ARMM during his oath-taking ceremonies recently.

The food farming and supply systems in the ARMM widely vary, and this is due to the geographic make up and staple food preference of the region.

This year, DAF-ARMM projects another increase in output.

During the recent rice production assessment meeting of DAF-ARMM top officials and commodity production coordinators, the Bureau of Agriculture Statistics (BAS) posted a conservative estimate of 689,716 metric tons (MT) output in 2008, however, regional agriculture department officials project an actual achievable production of 746, 602MT.

With Maguindanao having ranked number 10 top rice producing province of the whole country in 2007, has contributed to ARMM's overall rice production of 614,114 metric tons, last year up by 10.79 percent from its 2006 production of 554,270MT.

In 2007, irrigated areas in the ARMM produced some 294,898MT while the rainfed areas account for 319,216MT.

A sizeable increase in this year's irrigated rice production output is expected with the full rehabilitation of the 11,500 hectare-Kabulnan Irrigation and Area Development Project (KIADP).

With only Maguindanao, Shariff Kabunsuan ang Lanao del Sur producing rice in ARMM, an overall regional production-consumption deficit of about 30% in recent years is putting pressure on the regional government to further look into ways to accelerate production, one of which is the tapping of the vast track of arable wetlands covered by the Ligwasan Marsh or the flood plains of the Rio Grande River.

As this developed, the regional leadership assures to remain the number four top corn producer in the country while intensifying its efforts to produce more vegetables to further ensure food on the tables of the ARMM families. (pbc/PIA) [top]

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