In a bid to help local farmers, the Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas encourages consumers to buy local rice. The department also recognized November as National Rice Awareness Month and kicked off the celebration with a campaign themed ‘Buy Local, Eat Local’. Department of Agriculture Region VI Information Officer James Earl Ogatis explained that the theme is timely as the department is urging consumers to support local farmers. The celebration highlighted a three day exhibit of rice products at SM City Iloilo.
“Ginatagaan naton importansya ang mga mangunguma nga gatanom sang palay nga padayon naton iinspire naton nga despite sa issues nga naexperensyahan nila, padayon gihapon sila magtanom sang palay,” states Department of Agriculture Region VI Information Officer James Earl Ogatis, in an article by The Daily Guardian.
According to Ogatis, there are around 800,000 farmers in the region currently facing low palay prices due to the recently implemented Rice Tarrification Law.
“Kinahanglan nila patronize aton mga local na produkto especially ang bugas kay masiguro naton ining kalidad locally is mas safe compared sa lain na pungsod kay indi naton masiguro ang cultural practices nila sa iban nga pungsod and at the same time if ano ang mga preservatives nga ginagamit nila para makaabot sa aton,” adds Ogatis.
In light of the National Rice Awareness Month, the Department of Agriculture held the first ever ‘Agri-Talino, participated by different educational institutions offering agriculture courses. A Rice Photo Contest is also an ongoing event and can be participated by professional and amateur photographers. The celebration will cap off with a 3km fun run called ‘RICEponsibility’ at SM Southpoint on November 23.
Ogatis also encourages the youth to participate in the said activities.
“Our average farmers ages about 60 years old. Kinahanglan naton ang millennials naton mag get involved sa agriculture naton. If indi gid sila ang gusto magpa-init, ang mga estudyante makabulig sila suggest, mabulig sila get involved kung ano bala ang future sang aton agriculture sector kay ma-fully mechanized na kita,” Ogatis states.