The Province of Negros Occidental is positive about achieving rice sufficiency by 2013 and has intensified its support services to other staple food to achieve food security, Dina Genzola, senior agriculturist, said yesterday.
The province is now 96 percent rice sufficient and agricultural technologies on staple food like corn, cassava, and other root crops are also being developed to support its livestock and poultry industry, Genzola said.
She said food security augmentation also tapped the Department of Education through the Gulayan sa Eskwelahan where schools are given planting materials and tools for their gardens.
She also said that children must know at a very young age, the importance of healthy food and this can be accomplished through the Gulayan sa Eskwelahan, that will teach them organic farming as well.
The food security program of the province is also supported by the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance where farmers are encouraged to enroll their farm lands and get claims, Genzola also said.
The farmers can make claims when their farm lands get damaged by calamities, infestation, and floods, she said.
The Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Rice Research Institute have also developed resistant varieties of seeds for droughts, pests, and diseases to sustain production of rice in the province, she added. *LTG