By: Roi Anthoni B. Lomotan
NEGROS ORIENTAL (PIA) – The province of Negros Oriental will remain food sufficient for the rest of the year.
Provincial Agriculturist Gregorio Paltingca disclosed that as of now, there are no problems on food security in the province and agricultural crops are enough to feed Negrenses.
Paltingca reported that based on the 2013 data, the province has reached 40% food sufficiency on rice and 70% sufficiency on corn.
Paltingca explained why the province only attained 40% sufficiency in rice. He said the province could have already reached 60% sufficiency but because of recent calamities that affected irrigation systems in rice fields in Bayawan City and in the municipality in Zamboanguita it was reduced to 40%.
Still, there is nothing to worry about this because the production of rice is more than enough to feed the rice eaters and the production of corn is more than enough to feed corn eaters, Paltingca said.
Paltingca mentioned that 56% of Oriental Negrenses are rice eaters while 44% are corn eaters.
Aside from these, there is also sufficient supply of other agricultural products like kamote, cassava and banana which are alternatives to rice and corn.
The province, on the other hand, has a surplus vegetables and fruits and even exports a number of them in the provinces of Siquijor, Cebu, Zamboanga Del Norte, Negros Occidental, Iloilo and Mindoro.
The Provincial Agriculturist Office (PAO) maintains its thrust to produce safe sufficient and nutritious food through organic farming.
The provincial government has allotted P10 million in support of PAO’s programs for organic agriculture. Paltingca said that they are conducting two levels of training for farmers on creating bio-organic fertilizers.
Meanwhille, on the national level, the country has achieved 3.28% rice expansion during the four months of 2014. The figure is equivalent to 4.3 million metric tons (MMT).
The Department of Agriculture is determined to produce 59,678,679 MMT of rice between 2014 and 2016.
Food security and agriculture is one of the issues highlighted in the recent State of the Nation Address of President Aquino. (mbcn/ral/PIA7-NegOr/Article was first published at PIA Website on July 30, 2014)