DA eyes expanded contract farming for more affordable rice

By Stephanie Sevillano

May 13, 2024, 7:44 pm

<p><em>Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa (PNA Photo of Stephanie Sevillano)</em></p>

Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa (PNA Photo of Stephanie Sevillano)

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) announced Monday an expanded contract farming program to offer more affordable rice in the country.

Ngayon ay nagbigay na ng instruction si Presidente (Ferdinand Marcos Jr.), pati sa NFA (National Food Authority) gawin iyan, pati sa buong DA na gawin iyong malakihan na (The President has instructed the NFA to do that, even the entire DA, to expand the implementation of the) contract farming," Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said in an interview.

De Mesa said the expanded program will start in the upcoming wet season planting.

The expanded program stemmed from the implementation of an earlier contract farming program between the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and local farmers, which will enable NIA to sell PHP29/kg of rice in Kadiwa sites in Luzon, Cebu, and Davao in August.

Sa ngayon, 100,000 metric tons na bigas, that’s 100 million kilos. So re-repack nila iyon at 10 kilo per bag at iyon ang kanilang ibebenta sa mga Kadiwa (For now, 100,000 metric tons of rice, that’s 100 million kilos. So, they will repack it by 10 kg. per bag, and will sell it in Kadiwa [stores]),” he said.

Meanwhile, de Mesa assured that all rice production from contract farming is of good quality, particularly the inbred and hybrid varieties.

Under the program, farmers earn a higher income through lower production costs made possible by various government support, including seeds, fertilizers, and mechanization, among others. (PNA)