Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, January 24, 2014 (PIA) –The mission to increase the rice average production per hectare breaks off as local agriculture authorities take on the challenge to make a production record in the region.
Engr. Eugene Cahiles, Bohol’s premier agricultural research center manager said the regional agriculture chief is excited and wants to stake another record for Bohol’s rice productivity this year.
Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA Thursday, Engr. Cahiles, Bohol Agricultural Promotion Center (BAPC) manager said since 2011, Bohol has been consistently breaking its own rice production per hectare record as the Provincial Government is intent on realizing Bohol’s bid of becoming the food basket in Central Visayas.
In 2014, Bohol sets its eyes on a 4.0 metric tons (MT) per hectare, or .7 tons more harvest on a per hectare basis.
This as Bohol now averages 3.4 MT per hectare
We also have reasons to believe that it can be done, said Engr Cahiles optimistic that Bohol has all the aces to attain the goal.
Fresh from a meeting with the Department of Agriculture Regional Director Angel Enriquez at the APC, Cahiles cited the Bohol provincial Government’s support, the presence of key agricultural research facilities here, the National Irrigation Administration’s regional center, the presence of former agriculture secretary and the continued government support from the national to regional offices as the key in realizing Bohol rice production goal.
Citing production trends, Engr Cahiles cited that in 2011, Bohol’s average harvest reached 2.89 MT per hectare, a figure that was later topped by 2012 with harvests breaching the 3.0 MT per hectare mark.
The increase is 3% over the previous year, according to Engr. Cahiles, citing data culled from Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) reports.
In 2013, BAS data also showed that Bohol’s rice production reached 3.3 tons per hectare, a high performance considering that agricultural experts earlier projected a 3.24 MT per hectare yield, shared Sergio Cuaco, crop division chief at the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA) during the forum aired at DyTR.
Asked if the earthquake which destroyed public infrastructure also affected Bohol’s rice sufficiency stake, both agriculture authorities agree the damage the tremor dealt to our rice claim is minimal.
Saying that they would have to see the damage reports at the National Irrigation Administration, Engr Cahiles admits that there might be some problems with irrigated farms losing water, but there is very little reports of key agricultural infra suffering major damages.
Besides, the NIA is certainly looking at the problem and could have already fixed the problems, according to Cahiles.
The APC head also showed that the earthquake did little damaged to dent on the rice production goals of Bohol in 2013.
Using BAS data, he said that from October to November 2013, Bohol harvested 128, 816 MT of rice, which is slightly higher than the harvest recorded from the same period last year.
Last year’s rice harvest between October to November reached only 124,737 MT.