By Jennifer T. Pambid, PGIN-CMO
LAOAG CITY – For the second time, the province of Ilocos Norte was recognized as one of the top 12 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers in the country for its commitment in attaining high rice self-sufficiency.
Launched on 2011 by the Department of Agriculture, the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards aims to encourage the full support and participation of Local Government Units (LGUs), Irrigators’ Associations (IAs), Small Water Impounding Systems Associations (SWISAs) and Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) as well as to recognize their efforts and contribution in prioritizing rice-related projects, using quality seeds and appropriate technologies for attaining high rice sufficiency in the Philippines.
According to Provincial Agriculturist Norma Lagmay, the province of Ilocos Norte was awarded a trophy and a check worth P4 million by Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and National Rice Program Coordinator and acting Undersecretary for Field Operations Dante S. Delima in a ceremony held at the Resorts World Manila last March 14.
Laoag City and the municipality of Vintar were also included in the list of the Top 48 Rice Producing Cities and Municipalities and were awarded P1 million-worth check each.
“Behind the outstanding performance of the province are outstanding personalities,” Lagmay said, referring to 12 Ilocanos included in the list of National Outstanding Extension Workers in the Philippines who received P20,000 each.
Among the AEW awardees are Provincial Agriculturist Norma Lagmay, Provincial Rice Coordinator Dra. Lus Tabora, Laoag City Agriculturist Oscar Recta, Josephine Aljon of Laoag City, Generosa Blas of Vintar, Ofelia Agbayani of Vintar, Menchie Tolentino and Celestina Rivera of Bacarra, Merilyn Gappi of Batac, Manama Ganon of Batac, San Nicolas Municipal Agriculture Officer Norma Calamayan and Rachel Aguilar.
Lagmay disclosed that the P4 million will be used to purchase hybrid seeds and fertilizers in order to sustain the province’s rice production and gradually cut the province’s dependence on rice importation.
Although 1.65% lower than the yields in 2012 due to typhoon damages, the 286% rice sufficiency recorded in Ilocos Norte for 2013 surpassed the target production of the province by 183%.
Stressing the agricultural advantage of the province in boosting the provincial economy during her State of the Province Adress (SOPA) on 2013, Governor Imee Marcos has encouraged every Ilocano especially the farmers to take part in achieving sustainable rice production as well as the overall transformational growth of Ilocos Norte.
Other winning provinces included Pangasinan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Kalinga, Bulacan, Laguna, Bukidnon, Lanao Del Norte, North Cotabato and Mindoro Occidental.#