RAA awardeesHolding their plaque and mock cheque, MIMAROPA RAA awardees proudly pose for a photo opportunity with Sen. Cynthia Villar, USEC Ariel Cayanan, other RAA officials and DA MIMAROPA Regional Staff headed by RED Antonio Gerundio.

PASAY CITY – The MIMAROPA Region seized three recognitions in the 2018 Rice Achievers Awards (RAA) such as the Outstanding Province won by the Province of Occidental Mindoro; Outstanding City for Calapan City, and Outstanding Small Water Irrigation System Association for Paetan Interior Spring (SWISA OPIS) of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.

The outstanding province got Php 4M of rice related projects and plaque as their prize.

As the second leading rice producers in Southern Tagalog Region, the province constantly increases its yield  from 3.95 metric tons in 2017 to  4.25 MT/ha in 2018. The province has surpassed the national average yield despite of the disasters and calamities occurred that could hinder their production. Also, the resiliency of the farmers and the strong support from the Local Government Units help to constantly increase the performance rate of Occidental Mindoro.

Governor Mario Gene J. Mendiola received the award along with Provincial Agriculturist Sofronio Barranda, Provincial Rice Focal Person Jehu Michael Barrientos, Provincial Rice Report Officer Luz Yadao and DA-MIMAROPA headed by Regional Director Antonio G. Gerundio and Regional Rice Staff.

Meanwhile, the City of Calapan represented by Mayor Arnan Panaligan, City Agriculturist Lorelein Sevilla, Rice Report Officers Pamela Rago and Pelagia Magano also received a plaque and Php 1M to be utilized as per their submitted approved rice related projects for rice farmers.

The City has a total rice area of 8,104.20 ha. where 7,721.45 ha. is irrigated while 381.70 ha. is rainfed.

The City of Calapan through the City Agriculture continues to focus in agricultural productivity where the goal is realized under the Angat Kabuhayan sa Agrikultura Program (AKAP), the banner project of City Mayor Panaligan.

The implementation of focused project in rice production is an advantage to city farmers and farmers from other nearby municipalities.

Projects being implemented under AKAP are as follows: rice seed subsidy (hybrid and inbred) with an allocation amounting to P3,552,000.00 and considered as farmers’ choice varieties.

The city also provides 4-wheel drive, tractors, combined harvesters, solar dryers, shallow tube well and hand tractors to farmers’ association and cooperatives. Its aim is to reduce farm labor cost and post-harvest loses.

While the SWISA OPIS won Php 500,000.00 worth of irrigation projects, was also given to SWISA OPIS represented by President Roberto Camero.

Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan and Committee on Agriculture and Food Chairman Senator Cynthia A. Villar along with other RAA officials led the awarding ceremony.

Sen. Villar commended the awardees for their great contribution in rice industry. “You all significantly contributed to our rice production last year amounting to 19M MT,” she said.

This awarding is an annual activity of the Department of Agriculture to recognize the exemplary performance and contributions to rice industry of provinces, municipalities/cities, Irrigators’ Associations and SWISA. ###Bernadeth Z. Respicio & Baby Clariza San Felipe

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