11/19/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/18/2021 23:30
Author: DA Communications Group | 19 November 2021
A total of P345.6 million will be released to 68,179 rice farmers from the first and second districts of Zamboanga City under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA) of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
On November 19, Agriculture Secretary William Dar distributed P5,000 unconditional cash assistance to rice farmers tilling up to two hectares of rice farm, and is registered under the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
"This assistance comes from the excess tariff collected every time we import rice under the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL)," Sec. Dar said.
During the regional roll-out of RCEF-RFFA in Zamboanga, he stressed that with just three years of implementation of the RTL, the law has manifested excellent outcomes, including bringing down the price sold in the markets by as much as P7.00 per kilo.
"Bumaba po ang presyo ng well-milled rice mula P45 kada kilo noong 2018, na may pilahan pa, sa P38 kada kilo ngayon," he said.
The agri chief also announced that the cost to produce a kilo of rice has gone down from P12.52/kilo to P11.52/kilo.
"By the end of the six-year implementation of the law, we shall be near the P8/kilo production cost target," he said.
Sec. Dar added that with RTL in place, farmers are able to save 30 bags of seeds per hectare.
"Farmers from the 42 provinces covered by the RCEF has significantly reduced the seeds being used per hectare but are reported to harvest 600 kilograms more," he said.
Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar thanked the DA for continuously extending assistance to Zamboanga City.
"Only under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, with your leadership Secretary Dar, that the agriculture sector received very huge support," she said.
During the event, the DA chief handed out certificates of recognition and awards for various projects, under the Philippine Carabao Center, the National Dairy Authority, and the Bureau of Animal Industry.
The DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) also awarded P2M project grant to the local government unit of Pitogo as regional winner of the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan contest. BFAR also presented to the Aplaya Buenavista Fisherfolk Association two units of circular cage and 0.25-hectare deep-sea seaweed culture nursery. ### (Adora Rodriguez, DA-AFID)