By Mortz C. Ortigoza
STA.BARBARA – Pangasinan province is 194% rice sufficient, according to the provincial chief of the Pangasinan Research and Experiment Center (PREC) of the Department of Agriculture that is based here.
Dr. GIlbert Rabara, PREC chief, said that in the three harvest seasons in a year the first, second, and third seasons produced 183,000 metric- ton, 120,000 to 130,000 metric-ton, and 60,000 metric-ton, respectively.
“Oo, so ang self sufficiency natin sa Pangasinan is 194% ibig sabihin iyong 100% kinakain na natin dito sa Pangasinan, iyong 94% iyon na ang contribution natin sa Manila at iyong mga non-farm areas (Yes, our rice self sufficiency is 194%. It means the 100% is for our consumption here while the 94% is our contribution in Manila and other non-farm areas in the Philippines),” he stressed.
He said the huge province is number three in the Philippines in rice production where Nueva Ecija and Isabela occupied the first two ranks.
Meanwhile, the Philippines could not be self-sufficient in rice production in two years because of various factors.
Rabara cited that the spates of calamities, climate change, reduce palay areas, spikes of residential construction are reasons for the elusive desire of the Philippine government to be 100% rice self-sufficient.
“Saka iyong importation hindi nawawala talaga dahil sa buffer. Kasi kailangan talaga malagyan natin ng buffer in case of calamaties nasisira ang pananim natin wala tayong harvest (We need to import to fill up the buffer. The buffer stocks would be a substitute in case calamities destroy our palay harvest),” he stressed.