by Maritess B. Beñas / PIA
VILLAVICIOSA, Abra – This tobacco-growing municipality of Abra is implementing the expanded modified rice program (EMRP) to ensure food security in the locality.
With a P200,000 financial assistance from the Department of Agriculture central office, Mayor Marjorie Montalbo is determined to pursue the EMRP, because food security could also eventually address the problem on malnutrition brought about by poverty due to low productivity.
Montalbo said the EMRP, a two-year support program of the DA to rice farmers using organic fertilizer, is being implemented in its initial stages in barangays Poblacion and Lap-Lapog covering 200 hectares. Its coverage is expected to expand as the program progresses.
Sonia Zales, rice program coordinator of the local agriculture office, said the EMRP incorporates the use of organic fertilizer in farming, which aims to increase production and the income of rice farmers.
The DA-CAR provides technical support in terms of trainings to ensure appropriate techno-logy application, with the hope farmers would also adopt the project in their respective barangays.
The DA central and field offices jointly monitor the project implementation, together with the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, which likewise provides technical assistance to the farmers.