President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has directed the geological mapping of all agricultural lands in the country to establish soil maps for specific agricultural products that will help improve farmers’ products.
President Marcos said the government is already using geo mapping in resolving titling issues to boost agricultural production and increase the income of farmers.
“In geo mapping, we’re already using maps of BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) and NAMRIA (National Mapping and Resource Information Authority). We are putting together everything because it would be difficult to have a survey on all these lands,” Mr. Marcos said in the meeting with the Philippine Rice Industry Stakeholders Movement (PRISM) on Wednesday.
“From that, the issue on titling will be easier. We will be able to define the parcels of land. It will be easier if we will solve the titling problem,” he added.
PRISM also raised with the President other concerns such as high cost of rice production and limited market access, limited access to capital investment, adverse BIR policies, lack of extensive irrigation system, climate crisis-El Niño threat, and slow adoption of vital rice production technology.
The Presidential Communications Office said the present government interventions addressing these concerns include the implementation of Farm and Fisheries Consolidation and Clustering program (F2C2), provision of various support services including credit and financing by the Department of Agriculture, and the Land Bank of the Philippines, and establishment of climate-smart agriculture infrastructure.
The Marcos administration is also formulating the National Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization and Industrialization Plan and other plans to guide the development of the agriculture and fisheries sectors.
Founded in 2019, PRISM is composed of multisectoral groups involved in the rice industry value chain.
It has the mandate to address the fragmented government approach in addressing issues and help protect the interests of all stakeholders, from the farmers to the consumers.
The geo mapping is in line with the government’s goal of 100% rice self-sufficiency in five years following President Marcos’s approval of the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program (MRIDP).
The President, who concurrently heads the Department of Agriculture (DA), disclosed the government target during a Rice Industry Convergence Meeting in Quezon City on Wednesday.
“This convergence meeting, I think, has given us a good roadmap to follow, but marami pang mangyayari d’yan between now and our goal of having a 97.5-percent self-sufficiency in rice,” Mr. Marcos said.
Mr. Marcos said the government does not have “to be 100%” and that 97.5% is “a good enough number.”
The President explained the remaining 2.5% is for the other necessary niche products. He also encouraged all the stakeholders to stick to the roadmap, which he described as a “good plan” that could enable the country’s agriculture sector to surmount any roadblocks that lie ahead.