LAOAG CITY — Ilocos farmers are grateful for being the latest recipient of at least three rice milling machines courtesy of manufacturers from Shandong province of the People’s Republic of China.
Worth PHP1.5 million, the milling machines with a capacity of one ton per hour are now on their way to Ilocos Norte as aid to Ilocos Norte’s agriculture mechanization program.
“The Philippine relations with China are moving on the right track. The two provinces could work together for win-win results in the future,” said the Head of the Chinese Consulate in Ilocos Norte, Wang Jianqun as a group of 32 Shandong officials and businessmen visited Ilocos Norte on April 2-3 to strengthen business and agriculture cooperation here.
Over the past 15 years, Ilocos Norte and Shandong province had a long time mutual cooperation as then Governor Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed a sisterhood agreement with Shandong government.
Through the Sustainable Development Center (formerly known as Special Projects Office) of the provincial government, organized farmer associations from the 21 towns and 2 cities of Ilocos Norte continue to get assistance in the form of technology and farming inputs to boost their productivity.
To date, selected farmer-cooperators are planting China super rice variety in some parts of the province known as weather-resistant and high yielding.
The Chinese government through the Chinese Consulate Center here earlier distributed hybrid rice seeds to Ilocos Norte farmers, one of the country’s top rice producers based on national rice self-sufficiency performance.
This year, Ilocos Norte is poised to retain its title as top rice producer with the on-going evaluation at the national level.
Amidst typhoon and other natural calamities, Provincial Agriculture Office reported an increase of more than 2.16 percent rice production in 2016 as compared to 2015. PNA-northboundasia.com