As per the latest information available, it has been reported that the Department of Agriculture (DA) of Philippines will pour some P300 million assistance to the waning heirloom rice industry in 2017. According to a recent visit of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol in the region, it has been narrated that heirloom rice is now being promoted as a high value crop, which is seen to help in the country’s food security program. Further, the DA-Cordillera Regional Director Lorenzo Caranguian informed that the assistance will include the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged rice terraces and massive training of farmers with the aim of adding other sources of income.
Further, in this regard, it has been explained that towards this end, DA also plans to give two cattle to every farmer to milk for added livelihood. Moreover, the DA also aims to mechanize some of the indigenous methods of farming to be employed without necessary altering the produce.The assistance is part of the Government’s goal of rice sufficiency by 2019. Further, the 2015 Cordillera’s Economic Performance revealed that among the sectors contributing to economic growth, agriculture is the only sector that posed negative growth with 4.1 percent.
As per sources, Mr Caranguian also explained the loss of 7,000 hectares standing crop of rice in Kalinga and climate change that brought two typhoons in the country contributed to the negative growth.The agriculture chief added the heirloom rice industry which spans 12 hectares in the province of Ifugao is pulling the region down in terms of yield. However, the financial assistance for the heirloom rice industry, which is on top of the regular DA funding, is seen to make positive growth for the agriculture sector in the region.