Strengthening their ties and linkages as partner in the implementation of the Rice programs, projects and activities in the region, the Department of Agriculture in Ilocos Region through the Rice Banner Program conducted a two-day assessment and planning workshop at the Newtown Plaza Hotel in Baguio City on June 20-21, 2022.

Participated in by the Municipal and City Agriculturists of the 125 LGUs in the region including the Rice Focal Persons and Report Officers under the Rice Program together with the Provincial Agriculturists, Focal Persons and Report Officers in the four provinces, the activity aims to review and evaluate the performance of each province while providing them updates on the targeted projects and activities in support to rice production in the region.

An activity sponsored by the Rice Banner Program two years after the virtual meeting being conducted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the activity likewise provided an avenue for the other DA’s attached agencies to give updates in their project implementation as well as their accomplishments in support to the rice farmers in the region.

In a report made by the Philippine Statistics Authority representative on the status of palay production in the region, Region I is consistent in its rank as No. 5 in terms of rice production with 326,411 MT out of the 4,541,255 MT production in the country as of first quarter of CY 2022.

Giving an average share of 1.7% to the national production of palay, Region I was able to pull off a 1.3% increase in production during the first quarter of CY 2022 as compared to the same period of CY 2021 despite the decline production at the national level.

Dominating the production is the province of Pangasinan which shared a total of 72%, followed by the province of Ilocos Norte by 12% and the provinces of Ilocos Sur and La Union with 8% and 7%, respectively.

Comparing the four province’s production of the first quarter of this year (2022) versus the same period of last year (2021), the province of Ilocos Norte registered the biggest increase of 5.9%, followed by the province of La Union with 5.1% and 2.2% increase in the province of Pangasinan. The province of Ilocos Sur however registered a decline of -16.4% in their production due to the decrease in area harvested of about -8.4% in the first quarter.

In terms of yield, the province of La Union has registered the biggest increment of 3.8%, followed by Ilocos Norte with 1.2% and Pangasinan by 0.1%. The province of Ilocos Sur has likewise registered a decrease in yield by -8.7% in the first quarter of CY 2022.

Meanwhile, keeping them updated on the programs’ guidelines and protocols, the Focal Persons of the major components of the Rice Banner Program together with the DA-RFO I’s attached agencies discussed in details some of the major updates in program implementation including the seed components, ESETS or the Extension Support, Education and Training Services, Farm Mechanization, crop insurance as well as loan assistance to rice farmers in the region.

Major projects such as fertilizer e-vouchers, Operations Management Information Systems (OMIS), Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund – Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA), Rice Crop Manager (RCM) were among the subjects discussed during the assessment that provided the participants an in-depth understanding of how these programs shall be implemented in their respective areas of concern.

The assessment and planning workshop was led by Ms. Erlinda Manipon, the Regional Technical Director for Operations of the DA-RFO I together with the heads and focal persons of the major components of the Rice Banner Program.

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