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DA requests extension of rice enhancement fund

02 May 2024

The Department of Agriculture (DA) urged the House of Representatives to extend the DA’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) until 2030, highlighting its significant contributions to boosting rice production and supporting small farmers.

Established under the Rice Tariffication Act (RTL) of 2019, the RCEF collects tariffs on rice imports and allocates funds to modernize and improve the rice industry’s productivity.

DA Undersecretary for Rice Industry Development Christopher Morales, speaking before the House Committee on meeting on Monday, detailed the RCEF’s achievements since its implementation. 

He noted that over 15 million sacks of certified rice seeds have been distributed to about 1.2 million farmers, alongside 27,508 pieces of machinery and post-harvest facilities to enhance efficiency and reduce waste.

Morales added that the RCEF has provided training to 250,000 farmers, granted P4.6 billion in credit assistance, and offered P20.1 billion in financial aid.

“While we are on the direction toward our desired impacts, we still have a long way to go,” said Morales, underscoring the need to extend the Rice Fund when its six-year life ends this year. 

“The extension of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund until 2030 and reallocation of funds towards farm machinery, seed development,  and training and extension services are recommended, with special attention given to soil health improvement initiatives,” he added.

Source : manilastandard