Davao’s rice processing center aims to ensure food security

General

The Davao City Council has approved the Rice Processing Center Ordinance aimed at improving the production of palay, as well as in milling and marketing milled rice.

Councilor Ralph Abella, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and author of the ordinance, said Thursday the measure also covers post-harvest facilities, provision of incentives and subsidies, and other support for rice farmers.

“I thank all of my colleagues as well as the line agencies who took part in crafting this ordinance,” Abella said in a statement.

Abella said the ordinance is to reduce the importation of rice from local and foreign producers, provide incentives and support to rice farmers, and ensure a fair buying price for farmers on their palay.

He said the ordinance aims to contribute to food sustainability and security in the city, and reduce the price of rice.

Incentives and support will include assistance for expansion of existing areas planted with palay as well as new areas for palay production, Abella said.

He said the local government will provide the necessary tools and equipment in the cultivation of the land and providing good seedlings of rice varieties.

Also, farmers or entities who are into palay production will be provided farm inputssuch as chemical and fertilizers, granted real property tax reduction, and access to credit or grants.

As to palay production and establishment of a rice mill, the ordinance mandates the City Agriculturist Office (CAO) in coordination with the City Planning Office to identify new areas in the lowlands and uplands for palay production.

CAO, in coordination with the City Cooperative Office, is mandated to organize palay farmers into associations or cooperatives while the rice mill and other facilities to be established will be managed and operated by the City Economic Enterprise (CEE).

“Farmers’ palay produce will be picked up by either the CAO or CEE and shall be paid based on the agreed farm-gate contract price between the city government and the farmers,” Abella said.

He said the milled rice will be sold to the barangays, and will serve in part as buffer stock for the city’s staple food requirement during calamities or disasters that may occur.

“Revenues from the rice mill operations shall form part of the general fund and an annual budget shall be included in the CEE budget for its operation,” he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

Source: Philippines News Agency

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