The agriculture department is eyeing to harvest some 10 million metric tons of unhusked rice or palay during the dry season cropping in the country and to exceed 20 million metric tons target production in 2021.

In a virtual presser of the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Thursday, DA-Integrated Rice Program director Dr. Dionisio Alvindia said that goal is possible as long as there will be no weather system to affect the production of farmers.

“Iyong nasa program natin, Philippine Integrated Rice Program (PIRP), ang ating dry season ay nasa 2 million hectares. Kung iyan ay mag-a-average, national average sabihin na natin na five tons per hectare, kukuha tayo ng 10 million metric tons. Noong nakaraang dry season ay halos nasa nine million metric tons, maganda ang production natin, maganda ang taya natin,” he said.

The average yield in the Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund (RCEF) areas have increased into 4.09 metric tons per hectares (mt/ha) in 2020 from 3.61 mt/ha in 2019. DA targets to hit 4.30 mt/ha for the average yield in 2021.

He added that the wet season cropping has started on March 15 and will last until September 15 where the department is also eyeing 10 million metric tons of harvest from 2.5 million hectare-land area.

“Officially nag-start na ang wet season natin, sa Pilipinas nagsa-start ang wet season natin ng March 15 hanggang September 15. Ang target natin diyan ay 2.5 million hectares, estimate natin diyan, huwag lang tayo tatamaan ng kalamidad ay nasa 10 million metric tons,” he said.

“Ang target natin ay lumagpas tayo ng 20 million metric tons. Kaya naman ‘yan basta huwag lang tayo tatamaan ng kalamidad, kasi ang approach natin sa pagsasaka under sa leadership ni secretary (William) Dar ay itong tinatawag natin na techonology-based farming system,” he added.

Under the mechanization component of RCEF, around 15,810 machineries were procured; 9,236 machineries delivered; and 3,180 Farmers Cooperative and Associations (FCAs) benefitted in 57 RCEF supported provinces, among which, Palawan is included..

Some 5,956 farmers, 97 farmer cooperatives (FCs), and 7, 317 FCs sub-borrowers in Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) have opened loan accounts under RCEF credit component.

“Iyong mga intervention natin, nagbibigay tayo ng dekalidad na binhi at pataba. Kasi ‘yong dating traditional na homegrown seeds na tinatawag kapag ang ginamit nila ay from homegrown at naging inbred seeds sila, meron sila na increment na 0.5 tons per hectares,” he said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.