Iloilo to grab top rice producer title-A A +A
Thursday, February 21, 2013
IT IS only a matter of time for Iloilo province to grab the title from Nueva Ecija as the country’s number one rice producer with the groundbreaking of the construction of a dam for irrigation in the province.
President Benigno Aquino said the country will be rice self sufficient by 2013 supported by 30 agencies concerned with water, foremost of which is the flagship project of his administration in Iloilo, the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project II (JRMP II).
Western Visayas region is contributing 7.6 percent in rice production target based on the Food Staples Self-Sufficiency Roadmap 2011-2016.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the government is currently building a biggest dam outside of Luzon that will provide year-round irrigation for increased agricultural production to the 22,340 hectares and 9.500 hectares of rain-fed areas in Iloilo.
Alcala was in Iloilo City with President Benigno Aquino III for the JRMP groundbreaking and laying of time capsule Thursday, February 21.
Also with the President are Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas II, Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya, and the 12 candidates for senator of the Liberal Party (LP).
The P11.2-million JRMP is expected to increase rice production from 141,945 metric tons to 287,958 metric tons per year. The projected production propped up by JRMP is expected to overtake the production of Nueva Ecija as the top rice producer in the country and will give a headache to Nueva Ecija Governor Aurelio Umali, Alcala said.
The biggest dam project in Iloilo will be completed with energy and water components in two years and three months from today, the top agriculture official said.