Agusan del Sur tops country’s rice self-sufficiency program

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/08 February) – Efforts by the provincial government of Agusan del Sur to sustain its rice self-sufficiency program since 2008 have gained recognition from the agriculture department’s Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards program.

Jasmine Reyes, information officer of the provincial agriculture office, said Agusan del Sur was named among the country’s top 10 provinces that have a “laudable” performance in rice production from 2008 to 2011.

Reyes said the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards is the Department of Agriculture’s program that gives recognition to the highly performing provinces, cities, municipalities, and agricultural extension workers in the production of rice.

She added that the program aims to achieve rice self-sufficiency at the earliest by 2013.

The provincial agriculture office has implemented a rice production program dubbed Boosted Utilization of Grains in Agusan del Sur (Bugas) under Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza’s administration.

Under the Bugas program, the provincial government would provide technology including farm inputs such as seeds and fertilizers to small farmers. It would also facilitate small-scale irrigation and pre- and post-harvest facilities.

Reyes said the program includes construction of farm-to-market roads, trainings on appropriate technology including the use of organic fertilizers and marketing assistance to farmers.

Record shows that in 2011, the province’s rice production posted 333,160MT bringing an average production of 3.5MT/ha.

It has a surplus of 139,835MT based on the 124 kilograms per capita consumption or a total of 73,387MT requirement.

The province has a total population of 240,000 in 2011. (Alden Pantaleon/MindaNews)