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Japan Grants US$5.37 MLN For Rice Prod. Program In RP
The Japanese government is set to finance two major development initiatives worth over P298 million (US$5.37 million), to boost the Philippine government's rice production program.

These initiatives are the P246-million support system for the Tipid Abono fertilization program and the P52-million rehabilitation program of the Aganan River Irrigation System in Iloilo. These will be funded under the RP-Japan Program for the Increase of Food Production, also known as the 2KR Program.

The 2KR program is a commodity assistance grant provided by the Japanese government. The Philippine program, including both commodity monetization and fund use, is managed by the National Agricultural and Fishery Council (NAFC).

NAFC Executive Director Mamerto Ellorin said the two projects will boost the comprehensive efforts of the government toward attaining Development Goals 1 and 2, the foci of government efforts over the medium term, as they apply to the rice industry.

Goal 1 seeks to develop two million hectares of new agribusiness lands while Goal 2 seeks to reduce the prices of wage goods through enhanced farm productivity and promotion of marketing and retailing linkages by threshing out kinks in the supply and value chains. Wage goods refer to the farm products usually required by the wage earners.

Ellorin explained that the projects would support development of new rice lands and promote cheaper farming and marketing operations which are the essence of Goals 1 and 2.

The two projects would also support environmental conservation and sustainability, which are currently the development concerns of governments and communities, he added.

The Tipid Abono Program is a three-year initiative that shall run along two tracks -- the fertilizer subsidy component and the technology transfer component.

A short-term, one-season intervention, the fertilizer subsidy component shall provide a P500 per hectare subsidy, in the form of discount coupons for fertilizers, to farmers planting hybrid rice and adopting the Tipid Abono fertilization technology.

Ellorin said the technology aims to reduce rice production cost through the judicious and minimum fertilizer applications. It prescribes right mixture and amount of fertilizers for specific soil types that will ensure optimum yield of seven tons per hectare without lowering soil fertility.

On the other hand, he said the fertilizer subsidy scheme will cover 251,000 hectares in 32 provinces for one cropping season.

The technology transfer component involves, among others, the establishment of Tipid Abono demonstration farms involving some 7,200 hectares in 32 major rice-producing provinces.

The farms will showcase site-specific reformulated fertilizer mixes. It will also involve the production and distribution in 84 provinces of a national fertilizer distribution guide maps as well as practical tools and kits for soil nutrient analysis.

The NAFC official said the rehabilitation program for the Aganan River Irrigation System is a two-year undertaking that aims to repair the irrigation infrastructure, upgrade system efficiency, strengthen the irrigators association, raise farm production and increase farmer incomes in three towns in Iloilo -- San Miguel, Oton and Pavia, which are major rice producers in the province.

Once completed, the project will raise rice production in the project areas. Service area will expand by 304 hectares to 4,506 hectares and the number of farmer-beneficiaries by almost 200 to 3,077, he said.

Rice paddies are also expected to yield 100 cavans per hectare during the wet season, and 90 cavans during the dry season.

Moreover, cost of irrigation system maintenance is expected to drop by P700,000 -- from P1.2 million to P500,000 only. Consistent with the convergence approach, Ellorin said the projects will be implemented jointly by member-agencies of the Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with the local government units.
MGR Archive 28.6.2005
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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