Bangued, Abra- The first “usapang palay” information caravan was conducted at the Provincial Capitol, here, March 12, 2019.

The Department of Agriculture- Cordillera Administrative Region (DA- CAR) conducted the activity to inform and educate the local rice industry stakeholders on the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law (RA. 11203) which was recently signed by the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

The caravan was attended by the different agencies namely: Philippines Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), National Food Authority (NFA), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI-CAR), and National Irrigation Administration (NIA) who discussed their different agenda and intervention as far as the Rice Tariffication is concerned. Also present are members of local rice farmers associations.

Rosemarrie Tesoro APCO-ABRA, discussed the highlight of the Rice Tariffication Law, “Under the law, any country is allowed to sell their product in the Philippines as long as there is 35% tariff which will be used by the farmers for production and postharvest facilities”, she said.

In line with the said law, Marlyn Tejero, Regional Rice Program Coordinator also discussed the higher volume of rice that should be produce due to the increasing population, and the more extreme weather affecting the Philippines and other exporting country which is the focus of the Philippine Rice Industry Roadmap 2040.

            “What the DA intends to do is we need to introduce different interventions to make our farmers become a competitive, enhance resiliency to disasters and climate risks, and ensure access to safe and nutritious rice,” she added.

            These interventions are pursuant to the rice industry roadmap objectives of ensuring availability, accessibility, affordability of rice that is safe and nutritious.

            Another speaker, Mr. Roelito Valeras, NFA representative discussed the procurement program on its purpose like the support to local rice but also to the local corn farmers, their support to the farmers to ensure their fair return for their harvest and ensures the country’s food security.

Meanwhile, Resley Ann Sumedca, ATI-CAR reprsentative presented their different programs and trainings for increasing the capability of farmers on farming, how to popularize new technologies, becoming an extension worker, and promoting responsible rice consumption and other enhancement programs.

Furthermore, Gladys Aligo, Institutional Development Unit (IDU) head discussed the different process and requirements on accrediting local farmer’s organizations so that the government assistance and services will surely reach the   farmers.

The usapang palay information caravan will be conducted in the different provinces of CAR except for those provinces and municipalities that are producing heirloom rice.//Jonathan H. Gapad BSU-DDC Intern 2019