THE Department of Agriculture (DA), through the 2016 Rice Achievers Award, has named Valladolid town in Negros Occidental as one of the 15 outstanding rice municipalities and cities in the country.
Valladolid is the only local government unit in Negros Island Region (NIR) and Western Visayas included in the pool of winners for the search spearheaded by the DA’s Agricultural Training Institute.
Other winners are Luna in Apayao, Solsona in Ilocos Norte, Santiago City in Isabela, Victoria in Tarlac, Pila in Laguna, Paluan in Occidental Mindoro, Ligao City in Albay, Talibon in Bohol, Hinundayan in Southern Leyte, Bayog in Zamboanga del Sur, Lala in Lanao del Norte, Hagonoy in Davao del Sur, Lambayong in Sultan Kudarat, and Prosperidad in Agusan del Sur.
The Municipal Government of Valladolid will receive P1 million worth of projects during the awarding rites to be held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on May 23.
Joyce Wendam, regional director of DA-NIR, said Valladolid edged out over other municipalities and cities in the region mainly because of its improvement and huge contribution to the local rice production.
Wendam said the municipality has an average yield of 4.8 tons per hectare in 2016, higher than its yield in the previous years.
In terms of total volume production, Valladolid has produced 705,483 bags or 31,746.73 metric tons last year, with an area planted for two and a half cropping season of only 6,655 hectares.
“This is the first time that a municipality from the youngest region bagged a national award in the field of agriculture development,” Wendam said, adding that “the recognition is another achievement proving that Negros really has the potential in its agro-fishery sector.”
In 2016, the region also bagged various awards including the outstanding organic farmer for Jerry Dionson of Bago City in the search for National Organic Agriculture Achiever’s Award.
Dionson was also a recipient of Gawad Saka award as outstanding organic farmer in the country last year, along with Villarena Family of Silay City as outstanding farmer family.
Wendam said they hope the new recognition will serve as motivation to other municipalities and cities in the region to step up the efforts in improving the agriculture sector in their respective localities.
“They should further work on improving productivity through increasing their hectarage and yield so that they can also significantly contribute to the province, region and country’s total rice production output,” Wendam said.
The DA remains optimistic that by 2019, NIR will be able to cover its two percent shortage to become a fully rice self-sufficient region, she added.