The Provincial Agriculturist’s Office held a two-day consultative meeting with rice industry stakeholders from all over the province and partner Government Agencies on November 8-9, 2021 at the Tamaraw Hall, Provincial Capitol Complex, Calapan City. The consultative meeting was held to discuss the pressing issues hounding the rice sector such as the low buying price of palay and the proliferation of imported rice due to the Rice Tarrfication Law (RTL) among others.
The meeting gathered around 70 key provincial rice stakeholders such as farmers, rice millers, rice traders, farmer associations’ and irrigator associations’ leaders, Provincial Agriculture and Fishery Council (PAFC) officers and key personnel from Government Agencies such as the Department of Agriculture (DA-MIMAROPA), National Food Authority, National Irrigation Administration, and Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority. Municipal Agricultural Officers and MAO’s representatives were also present, and the Rice program staff of the Provincial Agriculturist’s Office led by Ms. Christine M. Pine who facilitated the 2-day meeting.
The discussions to thresh out the issues along the rice value chain, apart from the low palay price and proliferation of imported rice, also of immediate concern is the increasing price of fertilizers. Also raised by the stakeholders are the problem on insufficient irrigation system, high production cost, limited drying facilities, discontinued certified seeds distribution in RCEF, adulteration of the Mindoro dinorado rice with imported rice, and access to credit institutions.
The meeting also provided an opportunity for PAGO in collaboration with the various government agencies involved in Rice Program to initiate and develop a Provincial Rice Road Map for the enhancement and sustainability of Oriental Mindoro’s rice industry.