ILOILO CITY, May 19 (PIA6)—The Iloilo Provincial Agriculture Office said that agriculture development and production are priorities of the local government hence the budget of P5-million.
Elias Sandig, Asst. Department head of the PAO, said that the budget allotted for this year is intended for crop production and related activities.
“The province for one, is stepping up its rice production through good agricultural practices in palay production,” Sandig said.
Sandig said that the local price for rice is from P12 to P41 per kilogram, while those in the neighboring rice producing countries, the price is equivalent to P6 to P7 only.
“As the quantitative restriction is lifted, and agricultural products flood our markets, we tend to lose in this,” Sandig further said.
He said that a way to be at par with other countries in the international market is for PAO to promote organic agriculture as organic products, like black rice, aromatic cacao, organic vegetables and soaps made from organic herbs.
The organic black rice is sold for at least $11 per kilogram in the international market and P75 in the local market.
“Even half the price would be good enough for the farmers,” Sandig said.
The organic production of aromatic cacao is also being promoted by the PAO, as the ones grown now is another variety that costs from P100-150 per kilo, while the aromatic variety of cacao can be sold at P600-P1000 per kilogram.
For organic vegetables, the production of lettuce is specifically promoted by the PAO,
:This will open a new vista for agriculture production for our farmers not only in the uplands but in the lowlands as well,” Sandig said, (JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)