DA beefs up efforts to increase rice yield

For 19 years now, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has been pushing rice awareness to emphasize
the importance of increased rice production in attaining food sufficiency in the country.
This was underscored by DA Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban in his keynote speech during the
National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) 2023 kick-off activity held here recently.
Panganiban cited that rice production in the country has significantly increased in 2023 compared to
data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in the previous year.
Data from PSA shows that the country has achieved a production of 9 million metric tons from
January to June 2023. This figure surpasses the 8.7 million metric tons produced in the corresponding
period last year.
As of September 2023, the country’s total rice inventory grew by 6.6 percent metric tons from 1.45
million metric tons in the same period last year.
He noted that the favorable growth shows the effectiveness of government programs in enhancing
the competitiveness of the rice sector.
“This only implies that the policies and programs pushed by the DA are effective in making rice
farmers more competitive as well as in increasing the production of rice. This also translates to a
more affordable rice for the Filipino consumers,” said Panganiban.
He attributes the production increase to the gradual adoption of new farming practices, technologies,
and provision of various interventions by the DA and attached bureaus to the farmers.
Panganiban also asserted that with the recent installation of the new DA Secretary Francisco Tiu
Laurel Jr., the present administration’s primary direction still rests on helping the farmers increase
their yield and income through their rice produce.
“The directive of the President stands still- to change the ways in DA in extending services to the
people through his administration. This time, our new secretary will guide and gather information
from the DA personnel on how to expand rice production,” Panganiban added.
He also enjoined the public’s cooperation as the government continues to enhance its initiatives in
addressing the supply and demand of rice and in ensuring that no grain of rice will be wasted, as they
are the product of the efforts of our rice farmers.
Meanwhile, DA Regional Executive Director Dennis Arpia said that despite the high palay production
volume in Western Visayas, farmers’ yield per hectare as well as income remain low.
With this, Arpia acknowledged that everyone must further their efforts in addressing the low-income
farmers and likewise lessen rice importation.
“Ito po ay panawagan sa lahat ng sektor na tayo ay magtulungan. Magsinop tayo sa pagkonsumo ng
bigas at kanin, tangkilikin ang produkto ng mga lokal na magsasaka (This is a call to all sectors to help
one another. Let us consume rice responsibly and patronize the products of our local farmers),” he
To note, the observance of National Rice Awareness Month every November is pursuant to
Proclamation No. 524 series of 2004, advocating responsible rice consumption to show respect for
farmers’ hard work and helping the country achieve rice self-sufficiency.