Villar upbeat on gov't target of full rice self-sufficiency

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 22 2017 12:13 PM

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MANILA - Senator Cynthia Villar on Tuesday said Philippines achieving 100 percent rice self-sufficiency level remains "feasible," as long as it has the right support from the government.

Villar said she has spoken with farmers from Nueva Ecija and Isabela, two of the biggest rice producers in the country, and they said that "with the right kind of seeds and simple mechanization, they can produce 6 to 7 metric tons per hectare."

Stressing that the shortage was only 10 percent, Villar noted that producing even just 6 metric tons per hectare was already 50 percent more than the current average of 4 metric tons per hectare.

"It’s very feasible, provided we have the right kind of seeds. We’re not giving the right kind of seeds to our farmers," she told ANC's Headstart.

She said she talked to the Philippine Rice Research Institute that "you have to do better than this because I think yung seeds ang importante and mechanization."

"Sabi ng rice farmers sa Isabela, basta daw may harvester, malaki ang savings sa cost; and basta tama ang seeds, they can produce 7 metric tons per hectare which will make us more than self-sufficient in rice," she said.