By Shiela Mae Butlig
THE Misamis Oriental Provincial Agriculture Office yesterday said it sees the province achieving self-sufficiency in terms of rice production within the next six years.
Provincial agriculturist Jose Apollo Pacamalan told a news briefing that this is part of his office’s aggressive plan for Misamis Oriental.
Pacamalan said there must be an increase in agriculture productivity as the population also increases.
“Aggressively, we are looking at a 100-percent rice sufficiency level of Misamis Oriental within six years” or by 2024, said Pacamalan.
Right now, Misamis Oriental only has a 21-percent sufficiency in terms of rice production, and it cannot suffice the demand in the province.
The province consumes 10,000 bags of rice and the farmers here can only produce 1,000 bags, according to Pacamalan.
Pacamalan said that as part of their 100-percent sufficiency plan, they plan to expand areas for rice farming, even to the uplands.
The Pagro has identified the potential areas: Magsaysay, Gingoog, Lagonglong, Jasaan, Claveria, Initao, Naawan, Manticao, Opol, Villanueva, Tagoloan, Alubijid, Laguindingan, Libertad , Gitagum and Lugait.
He said they are targeting 2,000 hectares in the uplands for rice farming each year. As of now, the province only has 2,000 hectares.
For them to do this, Pacamalan explained that they need investments, about P150 million to P200 million.
He said rice sufficiency is just one of the plans they have for the province that also includes agriculture modernization and mechanization.
“There’s so much money from the private sector and wala lang kaayo na enhance. We want to develop a financing mix para di na problema ang mag-uuma,” Pacamalan said.