There are an estimated 2 to 2.5M rice farmers in the Philippines, with Regions 2 and 3 being the most prolific regions and Nueva Ecijca producing the most rice. And yet, the country is facing a shortage of this staple crop.
In an effort to encourage rice farmers to increase their yield, SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC), in partnership with Go Negosyo, launched the Masaganang Ani 300 Award, which aims to recognize farmers who will harvest 300 cavans or more in one hectare this cropping year using SLAC’s hybrid rice varieties.
“Masagana 300 is a private initiative between Go Negosyo and SL Agrictech,” said Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, SLAC Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “It will be a yearly thing. Malacanang will receive the outstanding 300 farmers and aside from that, there will be a cash prize of not less than P100,000. Hopefully, because of this, we can entice more farmers to increase their yield by planting hybrid rice.”
Support Filipino Farmers
The companies also launched Support Filipino Farmers, a campaign that encourages consumers to buy locally produced goods, especially rice. “I have high hopes for our Filipino farmers and I acknowledge their valuable contribution to our nation’s food chain,” Lim Bon Liong said. “I want farmers to look at farming as a business rather than a pass-on livelihood from their parents.”
The campaign’s initial efforts will be reflected in local supermarkets, wet markets, and in the media. Dr. Lim Bon Liong says, “To fellow Filipino consumers, let us buy Philippine products first. The money we spend buying local rice will flow back to the economy while patronizing imported items will shift the economic gain to exporting countries. Let us show our nationalism by supporting Filipino farmers.”