Davao eyes higher rice and corn yields

Subscribe Now July 11, 2022 at 09:10am

THE Davao City Agriculturist's Office (Cagro) is gearing up its plans and programs to increase the production of crops such as rice and corn to deliver the promise of food security to the people of the city.

Cagro Head Edgardo Haspe said that the programs and projects of his office are geared toward food production and are currently given a boost because of a looming food deficit.

"The national government is anticipating a deficit in the food supply in the next two quarters. So there will be a shortage. The challenge for us since we are in charge of the crops so this is really a challenge for how to increase the production of rice and corn," he said.

He also said that their budget allocation for food production programs will also be increased to improve the city's food sufficiency and help residents brace for the looming food crisis and reduce the city's dependency on food imports.

"Because here in Davao City, we need 10,000 bags of rice to feed the entire population. And our buffer for the whole year, based on current production from less than 1,000 rice areas in the city, is only 14 days. So, the rest of that we outsource from other provinces and, at the same time, on imported rice," Haspe added.

Cagro is planning to expand the city's rice areas in the highlands to boost rice production.

The production of corn is also promising because of the significant number of farmers who shifted to corn farming as the price of the product increased.

Aside from increasing staple food production, the Cagro has accelerated other ongoing agriculture programs geared toward food security.

These include the quarterly distribution of fish fingerlings to fish farmers in the highlands and the distribution of seeds and seedlings.

He said the city is now regularly producing seedlings to be distributed to Dabawenyo farmers. Over 1,000 sacks of fertilizer assistance had also been distributed to vegetable farmers since April this year.

Fertilizers and seeds have more than tripled in market prices since January, in conjunction with the rising fuel prices.

"Most of our programs provide support for our farmers most especially on fertilizers and seeds, plus or seedlings; we improved these programs for this year. We are producing seedlings and procuring seeds. At the same time, we are also producing fingerlings for our fish farmers," the official said.

Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte earlier vowed to ensure food security in the city amid an impending global food crisis.

Source: manilatimes.net

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