By Prince Golez
The government aims to attain close to 100 percent rice self-sufficiency in five years, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said as he approved the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program during the Rice Industry Convergence Meeting at the National Irrigation Administration.
“This convergence meeting, I think, has given us a good roadmap to follow, but marami pang mangyayari d’yan between now and our goal of having a 97.5-percent self-sufficiency in rice,” Marcos Jr., who concurrently heads the Department of Agriculture, said in the meeting.
“I don’t think you have to be 100 percent because there’s a… But I think 97.5 I think is a good enough number. We can feel that… Masasabi naman natin na we are able to feed. At least sapat ‘yung ating ani sa bigas,” he added.
The remaining 2.5 percent, according to the President, is for other necessary niche products.
“You do not have to really go to 100 percent kasi ‘yung three percent iba ‘yung mga niche products, ‘yung mga organic, ‘yung mga special na grain, Japanese rice, ‘yung mga ganun,” he explained.
“Iyong hindi na natin kailangan i-provide ‘yun. Pero at 97 percent masasabi na natin mapapakain na natin lahat ng ating mga kababayan ng may sapat na bigas and supply,” he also said.
Marcos Jr. urged all stakeholders to stick to the roadmap that he described as a “good plan” that might help the country’s agriculture industry overcome any obstacles that may arise.
During the meeting, the Chief Executive spelled out measures that could help the agriculture sector thrive, raise productivity and improve farmers’ economic status.
These measures include convergence, establishing more cooperatives, adopting mechanization and new technologies, as well as digitalization.