Bulacan harvests 4th Rice Achievers Award

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan – This booming province has once again “reaped what it sowed” in the field of agriculture.

For the fourth consecutive time, the province of Bulacan harvested the fruit of its commitment to contribute to the attainment of rice self-sufficiency of the country and was recognized anew as one of the seven top rice-producing provinces in the recently concluded Rice Achievers Award.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Vice Gov. Daniel R. Fernando and Provincial Agriculturist Ma. Gloria SF. Carillo received the trophy and a P4-million incentive allotted for the agricultural programs of the province during the 2016 Rice Achievers Awards held at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City, Tuesday afternoon.

Alvarado is thankful that despite urbanization and agricultural land conversion, the province still managed to be one of the top contributors in the nation’s rice production. He credited it to the indispensible Bulakenyo farmers who tirelessly worked on their farms with dedication.

“Kailangang ipagpatuloy ng mga anak ng magsasaka ang trabaho ng kanilang mga magulang. ‘Wag tayong maakit sa madaliang pagyaman. Sapagkat tumataas na ang presyo ng ating mga bukid, ibebenta na lamang natin. Remember na napakaraming Pilipino ang pakakainin nito, maging ang mga susunod na salinlahi,” the governor said.

He also agreed with Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food and who also served as the guest speaker on the awarding ceremony, that mechanization is the key in order to enhance competitiveness and productivity in rice production.

“Kailangang tulungan ng gobyerno ang ating mga magsasaka upang matuto silang gumamit ng mga makabagong kagamitan. Sa gayon, mababawasan ang kanilang labor cost at tataas ang kanilang kita,” added Alvarado.

In addition, Carillo said that for the last 5 years, the province has consistently maintained its average yield above the national average yield.
Other outstanding provinces include La Union, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Lanao del Norte and Compostela Valley.

Aside from Outstanding Provinces, the Department of Agriculture (DA) honored Outstanding Municipalities and Cities, Outstanding Irrigator’s Association and Outstanding Small Water Impounding System Association (SWISA).

The Rice Achievers Award, an annual search that started in 2011, aims to capture the impact of all interventions from DA, local government units and other stakeholders towards rice self-sufficiency. –Emil G. Gamos