The province of Ilocos Norte continues to lead the way in terms of rice sufficiency as it hit again its rice production target with a surplus of more than 150 percent.
Recognized as one of the country’s top 10 rice producers, Ilocos Norte was awarded PHP4 million check recently through Department of Agriculture (DA) regional director Nestor Domenden, as an Agri-Pinoy rice achiever.
The turnover of the check coincided with the distribution of multi-million farm machinery and equipment to further inspire Ilocos Norte farmers to boost their productivity.
According to provincial agriculturist Norma Lagmay, the PHP4 million prize will be utilized to help rice farmers improve their way of life in the face of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The DA-initiated Agri-Pinoy Rice Achiever’s Award identifies the top 10 rice-producing communities in the country. The competition is divided into three categories: Local Government Units (LGUs), Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs), and Irrigators Associations (IAs) for the regional level and national level.
Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority data, the volume of rice production in Region 1 had an increment of 6,033 metric tons from 488,855 metric tons production in 2019 to 494,887.85 metric tons production in 2020.
La Union recorded the highest growth at 19.83 percent, followed by Ilocos Sur at 2.42 percent, Ilocos Norte at 2.42 percent, and Pangasinan at 0.91 percent.
As to yield, the province of Ilocos Sur registered the highest level yield per hectare at 5.30 metric tons, followed by Ilocos Norte at 5.21 metric tons, La Union at 4.92 metric tons, and Pangasinan at 4.74 metric tons.
In receiving the award, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc said in a virtual interview Tuesday that agriculture remains to be a top priority under his administration. (PNA)