NIA Central Office – President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., as concurrent Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary, presides the Convergence Meeting for Masagana Rice Industry Development Program (MRIDP) on May 31, 2023 at NIA Conventional Hall, 5th Floor, DCIEC Building, NIA Central Office.
Together with the various heads of agencies, National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Acting Administrator Engr. Eddie G. Guillen expressed his support to the agricultural industry’s thrust toward food sufficiency and food security as the NIA remains committed to its mandate of providing quality irrigation services nationwide.
As Food Security is the top-notch priority in the President’s 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda, the Department of Agriculture’s Masagana Rice Industry Development Program was formulated with the objective of raising the level of production of important commodities including rice and strengthening the value chain from the farmers up to the consumers. The convergence initiative aimed to pool resources, share knowledge, and coordinate efforts to achieve sustainable rice production and uplift the lives of our farmers by increasing their income.
The ”cooperation, collaboration, and convergence” of the different stakeholders, such as national government agencies (NGAs), legislators, research institutions, Irrigators Associations (IAs), and the private sector is deemed vital for an integrated plans, program, and projects in advancing agricultural productivity of the country. During the Rice Industry Convergence Meeting, the MRIDP targets to reach 97.5% rice sufficiency in the country by 2028.
“The NIA vigorously pursues irrigation infrastructure projects nationwide as it is one of our opportunities for Wealth Creation for our farmers, the agricultural sector, and our country,” Administrator Guillen highlighted in his message.
This resulted to strengthening of ties through signing of several Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) between the Department of Agriculture and its agencies, NIA and DPWH, and with the private sector such as Nature Tech Innovation Group and Go Negosyo. All these convergence initiatives towards the effective implementation of the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program for rice sufficiency and food security.
President Marcos emphasized modernization and innovation in the agriculture sector to attract the youth into farming and agribusiness. “Napag-usapan din natin, speaking of new technologies, is bringing down the average age of the Filipino farmer. And to do that, again, we engage them with new technologies because they will be the ones who will operate those systems, those new technological systems. And that will make it interesting for young people to come into the sector,” the President said.
NIA Top Management Officials, Central Office Department Managers and Regional Managers, attached agencies and bureaus of the DA, national government agencies (NGAs) such as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Landbank of the Philippines, National Food Authority (NFA), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), members of the House of Representatives, Irrigators Associations (IAs), and the private sector attended the said convergence meeting.
“Kaya natin ginagawa ito, hindi lamang para mapakain natin ang buong Pilipinas pero para pagandahin natin ang buhay ng ating mga magsasaka – disente naman ang buhay nila, mapag-aral nila ‘yung mga anak nila,” President Marcos added.
As President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. approved the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program, the NIA assures its commitment in prioritizing the welfare of the Filipino farmers through its continued irrigation infrastructure projects nationwide.
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EDEN VICTORIA C. SELVA
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