ISULAN, SULTAN KUDARAT – The Province of Sultan Kudarat made its mark as the top producer of rice in Region 12. This is according to the office update by Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAG) OIC Estella S. Hallegado during the convocation program held Monday, August 15, 2016, Provincial Capitol, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

According to data given by Mr. Danilo F. Nobleza, Provincial Rice Coordinator, the province has reached a total of 341, 801.51 metric tons of rice produced last year with a total of 80,193.5 hectares of planting area.
Meanwhile, data as of January to June of 2016, rice production peaked at 129,150.97 metric tons with 38,447 hectares of area harvested.

Mr. Nobleza added that harvest of farmers this year was affected by El Niño phenomenon but assured that the rice supply in the province is sufficient.

OIC Hallegado also reported the program and accomplishments of the province including some individuals under the Department of Agriculture.

Mr. Aurelio Betque was recognized as the Outstanding PAFC or Provincial Agriculture and Fishery Chairman regional level.

Mrs. Jennifer N. Farillon of MAFACGA (Masiag Farmers and Coffee Growers Association), Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat received the Outstanding Rural Women Award regional level and will represent the entire Region 12 to the national level. MAFACGA is also a recipient of Philippine Rural Development Project amounting to Php12, 050,000.00.

Mr. Johny Laransupe, a farmer technician and outstanding farmer of Lambayong will represent the province to the National Organic Agriculture Award – Individual Category.

Further, Ms. Shermila Dawn G. Rajel of New Pangasinan, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat bagged the National Winner Award during the Glutinous White Corn Processing Competition of the 4H National Convention held recently.

Aside from the said accomplishments, the province has also allotted programs and projects for farmers in Sultan Kudarat.

The OPAG received an approved budget of Php2, 400,000.00 from DA 12 for its Fruit and Vegetable Development Program. The department is also pushing for the “Gulayan sa Bayan” which will be implemented thru 4H, Rural Improvement Club (RIC) and Local Government Units (LGUs). Vegetable seeds from Food and Agriculture – United Nations (FAO-UN) are ready for distribution to clients in support to backyard gardening.

Coffee farmers affected by El Niño in Senator Ninoy Aquino, Lebak and Kalamansig will be receiving 3,000 bags of fertilizers in the coming months according to the report.

In addition, the province together with PAFC readies its 120,000 cacao seedlings for distribution to interested LGUs. OIC Hallegado is also speeding up the release of farm machineries (rotavator, shredder and tractor) to farmers before the end of the month.

On the same occasion, Sultan Kudarat Governor Sultan Pax S. Mangudadatu Al Haj, Ph.D expressed his commitment to fulfill his vision for the agriculture sector of the province. Among his plans are the establishment of livelihood centers in the 11 municipalities and 1 city of the province and distribution of hundreds of live-stocks for farmers to use.

The governor has also made request to Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol for farm machineries. If materialized, the farm machineries will plow the rice paddies of every famer in the province of Sultan Kudarat for free, says Governor Mangudadatu. (JBAujero/PPDO-SK)