Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

DA lauds Mangatarem farmer clusters in Gawad Ani Achievement Day

Author: DA Communications Group | 13 May 2022

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar commended the success of around 400 Pangasinense farmers who participated in the Philippine Rice Research Institute’s (PhilRice) RiceBIS Community Modern Farms Project in Mangatarem, Pangasinan.

The RiceBIS Community Modern Farms Project is the brainchild of agriculture steward Dr. Inocencio “Bong” Bolo, most notable for his role as Director for Field Operations during the implementation of the Masagana 99 Program under the administration of former President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.

During the Gawad Ani Achievement Day last May 12, RiceBIS Program Leader Aurora Corales proudly revealed that the project has formed over 10 farmer clusters in Mangatarem, covering 400 farmers and more than 300 hectares of farmlands. It also successfully increased the average yield of the farmers per hectare from 3.5 metric tons (mt) to 4.2 mt.

The farmers also experienced a 64% increase in their incomes, even selling more than 15,000 mt of milled rice in Metro Manila.

Secretary Dar noted that the project’s success is attributed to it being technology-driven, given that the farmers were provided with farming technologies and modern varieties of rice seeds, as well as having a good business model.

He added that the RiceBIS’ clustering and consolidation approach, which is also one of the major strategies of the Department of Agriculture (DA), especially in terms of providing assistance, pushed for the positive outcome.

”Yong buklod-buklod o sama-sama, mas may power diyan ang ating mga magsasaka, may leverage. Para sa ganoon ay may representation ang farmers collectively during business negotiations. Because as a collective, you can have volume and quality products, and you deliver on time,” he said.

Secretary Dar assured that the DA will continue to determine and develop the best markets for the Mangatarem rice farmers to ensure that their progress is unhampered.

“Lahat po ng pagod at serbisyo ng gobyerno dito sa ating agrikultura ay para sa inyo nakadikit palagi, naka-focus palagi ‘yong tulong kung ano man ang puwede nating tulong na maibibigay. At sana tuloy-tuloy na ang mas masaganang ani at mas mataas na kita para sa ating mga magsasaka,” he remarked. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)

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