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Under the mega farm model, P20 per kilo of rice is possible: DAR

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) claims that its mega-farms project will reduce rice prices down to roughly PHP20 per kilo.

DAR Secretary Bernie Cruz stated at a press conference on Monday that the project’s concept is to combine small and individual farm lots into mega-farms for rice production.

“A mega farm is a collection of adjacent farms that have been combined to form a huge plantation capable of generating a large number of farm products to suit consumer demand,” Cruz explained.

He believes that President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s goal of lowering rice prices may be achieved by lowering production costs without losing farmer income.

“We discovered from our mega farm’s project studies that not only is the PHP20 per kilo attainable, but it would also be beneficial for our agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs),” he stated.

According to Cruz, DAR has developed “Programang Benteng Bigas sa Mamamayan” (PBBM, informally translated as Program PHP20 for Citizen’s Rice) as part of the mega farm project.

PBBM will begin with an initial 150,000 hectares of rice farm under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and nearby small farm lots, according to DAR Undersecretary David Erro.

According to DAR studies, 150,000 hectares can produce an average of 142 cavans or sacks of rice per hectare per cropping season, according to Erro.

According to him, this will result in a gain of PHP76,501 each year for ARBs.

“We, the Filipinos, consume 301 grams of rice per person every day, or 109.9 kg per year.” This endeavor can feed roughly nine million underprivileged Filipinos with that amount,” Erro remarked.

He claims that if the PBBM for the mega farm project is approved, it will not only cut rice prices to PHP20, but will also free CARP farmers from subsistence farming.

Farmers are grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte for free irrigation, while the Department of Agriculture gives fertilizers and seedlings on a regular basis, according to Cruz.

Cruz also emphasized the value of research and development, noting that farming has advanced in terms of technology for improved rice production.

He underlined the significance of well-organized agriculture.

“‘Pag hindi mo po talaga tinutukan ‘yung productivity, wala kang soil testing,'” says the author.

Nagiging gaya gaya na lang ‘yan yung mga input na binibigay ng mga farmer. ‘Minsan, baka hindi ‘yun ang kailangang fertilizer, so kailangan talaga organized farming.’ Yung sinasabi naming dapat economically viable. Techies na ngayon pati ‘yung pagtatanim (If you don’t focus on productivity and don’t test your soil, you might as well make up inputs.) Soil testing isn’t done, therefore they buy fertilizers that may or may not be appropriate for the soil type. As a result, we require well-organized agricultural. It must be economically viable. Even farming should be technologically advanced),” Cruz stated.

He claims that DAR has been distributing lands to farmers for 34 years, and now it’s time to focus on helping them produce more.

“Sa pamamagaitan ng CARP, napakalaki na ng napamigay natin na lupa, pero para maging fruitful, hindi natin nabibigyan ng gaanong tugon ‘yung mga lupang naipamigay natin sa mga farmers, at ‘yun ay dapat na mabigyan nati However, we have not focused on assisting farmers in being more productive with the land they have been given, which is something that we should now address),” he said.

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