DILIMAN, Quezon City—Top rice producers in the country were recognized in the 2019 Rice Achievers Awards in a small ceremony held at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management Convention Hall in Quezon City, November 27.
Ten provinces received awards with cash prize worth Php4 million each during the ceremony. Meanwhile, members of 10 National and Communal Irrigators’ Associations (IAs) and six Small Water Irrigation Systems Associations (SWISA) received their awards with cash prize worth Php1 million each.
On the other hand, 13 cities and municipalities and around 300 agricultural extension workers and local farmer technicians will be honored in ceremonies that will be held in their respective areas.
Established in 2012, the Rice Achievers Awards is an annual event of the Department of Agriculture (DA) that recognizes the efforts of outstanding rice-producing institutions, groups, and individuals for their contributions in the country’s food sufficiency thrust. The event is also led by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).
Agriculture Secretary William Dar graced the ceremony. In his message, Dar spoke of the collective aspiration for self-sufficiency in rice.
The DA chief took note of the country's aim to reach 92 percent rice adequacy level this year, which proved to be a challenge due to the onslaught of consecutive typhoons. He shared his hope of achieving and elevating this percentage through the application of new technologies in rice farming.
Dar also recognized the sacrifices of Filipino farmers who work on their land even under extreme weather conditions and the onslaught of typhoons. With this, he stressed that efforts will be directed towards the vision of attaining a productive, globally competitive, and resilient agriculture with increased income among the farmers and fishers. Among the initiatives he cited to support this mission are the Adaptation and Mitigation Initiatives in Agriculture program, "Plant, Plant, Plant" program, loan programs, cooperative development programs, and the establishment of provincial-led agriculture and fisheries extension system.
"Maraming salamat sa ating mga bayani," he said.
DA Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan, Assistant Secretary-designate for Operations Andrew Villacorta, and other officials from DA offices, bureaus, and attached agencies were also present in this prestigious gathering. The event was streamed live on the DA’s and ATI’s Facebook pages.
The Rice Achievers Awards ceremony, likewise, capped off the observance of the National Rice Awareness Month this November.