Fabian lauds DA food sufficiency program PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 February 2013 14:31

District 2 Rep. Erbie A. Fabian on Friday lauded the ambitious rice sufficiency program of the Department of Agriculture by this year even as he rallied support for the program here in the city.

Fabian said this is a groundbreaking program of DA Secretary Proceso Alcala which seeks to make the country self-sufficient in rice production by this year.

Fabian, whose district is the main rice producing part of the city, said there is great and historic value to the country as the Philippines, lagged behind in rice production over the years and has degenerated into becoming a net importer of rice from neighboring countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia to cover its production deficits to meet domestic demands.

Rice is a staple commodity and a critical component of the typical Filipino daily diet.

The solon added he has made agricultural productivity a cornerstone of his 9 years stint in Congress, bringing in millions of pesos to invest in the agricultural sector in Zamboanga City.

These came in the form of farm-to-market roads, irrigation facilities, agricultural inputs and rice seedlings to farmers-beneficiaries, post-harvest facilities and technical know- how dissemination to local growers.

He called on everyone to fully support the Department of Agriculture’s rice sufficiency program as this will redound to steady supplies of food products in the city, lower prices of farm commodities and expansion of agri activities in the hinterlands.

The areas of Balinsungay, Curuan, Vitali, Manicahan, Culianan, Cabaluay,Talabaan and Mercedes is the rice bowl of the city where most of the local grains are produced.

Fabian also called for more incentives for farmers in terms of providing seedlings of high yield varieties of rice, incentives for fertilizers and make available loan facilities to help prop up farmers during non-planting seasons.

This can be done and it is a realistic goal though how ambitious it may sound, it deserves the support of everyone, Fabian said.

The solon, who is a close associate of Secretary Alcala when both were in Congress said the time has come for the country to stop importation of rice from overseas and concentrate on making the country rice sufficient anew adding it is a drain of dollars for the country which has forced the National Food Authority to near bankruptcy due to unabated importation of rice.

Besides, the solon added, the local variety of rice is of superior quality and tasty the more people here should increase production of the local upland variety for local consumption.