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PIA Press Release
2008/07/19

Land conversion suspension to combat food crisis

By Mai Gevera  

Davao City (19 July) -- The Philippine government is now optimizing the production of rice to meet the local needs and consumption. This is supported with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's order suspending the processing and approval of all land conversion applications of rice lands for two years.  

This was favored by the national government as the trend showed a significant increase of land conversion from rice farm to other agricultural plantation. This is also believed to have contributed to the poor rice production in the country.  

President Arroyo then found it necessary to protect rice lands from massive conversion strategies in order to ensure sufficiency of rice supply in the country.  

is reported that the country gets 90 percent of its rice requirement from local production while the other 10 percent is imported from Vietnam and Thailand.  

With the implemented programs of the national government, it is believed that the country can attain self-sufficiency on rice in five years.  

Department of Agriculture Roger Chio said that both national and local leaders are working together to combat food crisis and that the local leaders are the frontline of the program implementation.  

This is also complimented by the Department of Agriculture's F.I.E.L.D.S. program, a P43.7 billion package of intervention that is also poised to reduce the impact of the food crisis.  

F.I.E.L.D.S. stands for Fertilizer, Irrigation, Education and Training for farmers and fisher folk, Loans, Dryers and other post-harvest facilities, and Seeds of the high-yielding, hybrid varieties. (PIA) [top]

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