The province of Kalinga, dubbed as the rice granary of the North, is hailed as one of the top seven rice producers in the country by the Rice Achiever’s Awards (RAA) of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The RAA is a government program that recognizes provinces, municipalities/cities, and agricultural extension workers for their outstanding contribution to the country’s rice production and food self-sufficiency program.
In 2017, Kalinga contributed as much as 173,292 metric tons or about 4.83 metric tons per hectare to the nation’s rice supply, up by 10.89 percent from 2016. The province was also able to expand its rice production from 33,059 hectares of rice farms in 2016 to 35,913 hectares in 2017.
Kalinga posts a whopping 247% percent self-sufficiency in rice production, making it the top rice producer and trader in the region in 2017.
Provincial Agriculturist Domingo Bakilan attributed Kalinga’s robust rice production to the utilization of new technologies in rice planting. This include technology transfer in the form of trainings for farmers, use of high-yielding hybrid rice and certified seeds in rice planting, high yielding technology adaption (HYTA), and the utilization of precision planting and the rice crop manager (RCM) system.
“And the farmers, themselves,” Bakilan noted. “Their receptiveness to new technologies, coupled by their industry, make them the great contributor to the increase in production.”
Bakilan said that the expansion of Kalinga’s rice farms was driven by the rehabilitation of irrigation systems, citing the significant contributions of local government units and the National Irrigation Authority (NIA).
As an Outstanding Province on rice production, Kalinga will be receiving an incentive of P4 million in the form of rice-related projects.
Bakilan said they are proposing to use P1.7 million of the prize tobuy a van for the Kalinga Farmer’s Academy and a motorcycle for the Office of the Provincial Agricultural Services (OPAS). “And then the other two million, we will use to rehabilitate the rice seed processing center and equipment shed.”
Governor Jocel Baac, along with the Provincial Agriculturist, Provincial Rice Coordinator Jose Casibang, and Provincial Rice Report Officer Sol Lawagan, will formally receive the Outstanding Province award in aceremony on May 31 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
“As I told our employees, while this is our third time, it doesn’t mean to say that we will end here. We should do more so that we will sustain our achievements,” Bakilan said. “And since the award has no limit now, whether it’s your tenth time or eleventh time – if every year, we will be included in the Rice Achiever’s Award, every year we will be getting 4 million.”
“That is our goal, to be shortlisted every year,” Bakilan added.
On a separate occasion, Bakilan will be formally awarded by the DA as one of the Outstanding Agricultural Extension Workers in the country for 2017. He shares the recognition with ten other rice extension workers, namely, Jose Casibang, Sol Lawagan, Rosalina Gapasin, Anita Caldingon, Arnel Malaggan, Marcelino Saquing, Felomina Nalog, Salvador Balicao, and Julibert Aquino.
Governor Baac extended his congratulations to Bakilan and his co-awardees. He said that he is very proud of these new awards under the province’s belt: “It is an additional feather to a cap already decorated with five Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) awards.”
By Iryll Sicnao