The Department of Agriculture – Cordillera Administrative Region- Regional Field Office (DA-CAR-RFO) conducted a provincial consultation meeting with the provincial agriculturists (PAs), municipal agriculturists (MAs) and other agricultural extension workers (AEWs) in the six provinces of the region.

The provincial consultations were done in three waves. The first was in the province of Abra which was held in Bangued, Abra on June 5, 2018 followed by the joint consultation for the province of Kalinga, Apayao and Ifugao that was held in Tabuk City, Kalinga on June 7, 2018. The joint consultation for Mountain Province was conducted in Bontoc, Mt. Province last June 12, 2018.

Engr. Danilo P. Daguio, Regional Technical Director for Operations said that these consultation meetings serves as an avenue for the PAs and MA’s and other extension workers to bring out the issues and concerns encountered in the implementation of DA programs in the field.

“This is a localized Biyaheng Bukid done by the director together with the division chiefs to improve weaknesses and directly address the issues and concerns in the implementation of the different programs of DA. It is also undertaken to update local stakeholders on the status of implementation of DA projects,” RTD Daguio added.

During one of the consultation meetings, Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo also asked the help of the provincial agriculturists, provincial veterinarians, municipal agriculturists and agricultural officers to determine their issues and concerns in their own area.

Dir. Edillo also instructed DA and LGU operatives implementing agricultural development projects supported by the agency. He suggested that the DA Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Division (PMED) should come up with a methodology to monitor DA interventions to make its performance better.

Status of program implementation in the different regular banner programs and special projects of the DA were also presented and discussed during the meetings.

The activity was attended by the focal persons of the different banner programs of DA-CAR, division chiefs, Agricultural Provincial Coordinating Officers (APCOs), and the provincial and municipal agriculturists.// RDibdiben & ACañero 

The Province of Kalinga has been the major producer of rice in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). In 2017, it contributed 173,292 MT or 38.9-percent to the regional production of 445,006 MT with an increase from 137,784 MT production last 2016.

In 2017, the rice production reached its sufficiency level at 269-percent. In 2007, Kalinga has the highest rice sufficiency level among the six provinces of CAR with 279-pecent.

Through its significant rice production, Kalinga is dubbed as the “Rice Granary” in the Cordillera.

For the third time, the Province of Kalinga has won as one of the Outstanding Province (Category B) of rice producers in the country.

This was known during the awarding ceremonies of the “2017 Rice Achievers Awards: Pagpupugay sa Natatanging Lalawigan, Bayan/Lungsod, Irrigators’ Associations (IAs), at Small Water Irrigation System Associations (SWISAs)” last May 31, 2018 at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay.

The Rice Achievers Award is an annual event and search done by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to recognize the contribution of the local government units (LGUs) in the rice industry to attain rice sufficiency in the country.

For its feat, the Province of Kalinga received an incentive award amounting to Php 4 Million worth of projects.

The Province has also won the same award last 2012 and 2014.

Meanwhile, Hall of Famer Tabuk City, has again won as one of the Outstanding Municipality/City and brought home an incentive award worth Php 1 Million worth of projects.

Tabuk City as a major rice producer of the Province of Kalinga grows rice in 11,247-hectares which is 37-percent of the provincial rice production area of 20,471.74-hectares.

In 2017, the production sufficiency level of Tabuk is at 176-percent or around 120,000 MT of palay. The production area is gradually increasing up to 18,000-hectares recorded last 2016 due to the various interventions from the DA.

In the fulfillment of the DA’s mandate to improve the life of the farmers, interventions have been continuously done for them in partnership with the LGUs. These include trainings, farm mechanization, infrastructure development (farm to market road, nursery establishment, irrigation systems, among others).

Recently, credit has been included as another intervention in support to rice and other crop production. Agriculture secretary Manny F. Piñol said that from subsidy, financing from the DA will now shift to Easy Access Credit. Sec. Piñol said that one advantage of the new program is faster and efficient procurement of farm inputs, especially seeds, fertilizers and farm machineries.

Piñol added that the new program was already started in 2017. The experiences brought about the birth of a new loaning program under the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC). These are the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loaning Program and the Production Loan Easy Access.

The loaning program is accessible to members of cooperatives, farmers or fishermen’s association and other agriculture stakeholders. //HDanis