LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN—Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), led by Vice Governor Mark Ronald DG. Lambino, signified their full support for the Rice Industry Development Program of the province.
In the regular session of the provincial board on January 8, a resolution was authored by SP Member Nicholi Jan Louie Q. Sison to strongly endorse Governor Ramon V. Guico’s letter request for the Philippine Center for Post-Harvest Development and Mechanization (PHILMECH) to allocate funds for the provision of various farm machinery and post-harvest facilities.
“Agriculture is the primary industry of the Province of Pangasinan, its agriculture sector is important for inclusive growth and is a key driver of the province’s economy, particularly in the rural areas where farming families live,” the resolution stated, further disclosing that “to achieve sustainable food production, it is imperative to continuously address pressing challenges and constraints that may impact the productivity, profitability, and welfare of farmers.”
Gov. Guico implemented the Pangasinan Corporate Farming Project to address major concerns of the agriculture sector in the province, as it aims to increase farmers’ yield and income, reduce production costs, and alleviate the province’s economy through shared efforts of both public and private partnerships.
The program likewise aimed to make farming a “profitable and sustainable economic enterprise in line with the national government’s food sufficiency thrust under the Masagana Program for Agriculture,” the resolution stated.
As noted in the resolution, PHILMECH, an agency attached to the agriculture department, is mandated to implement projects geared towards agriculture modernization through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
RCEF can be utilized to improve the productivity and competitiveness of local farmers through the provision of farm machinery and equipment, rice seed development, propagation and promotion, expanded rice credit assistance, and rice extension services.
“Research shows that the use of farm machinery and cost-efficient technologies will greatly reduce the cost of rice production and that post-harvest losses are minimized through the use of appropriate post-harvest technologies,” the resolution said. (Ruby R. Bernardino/Pangasinan Information and Media Relations Office)