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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        3  June 2011

Philippines releases fund for rice growing

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The Philippines Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released a fund designed to promote rice self-sufficiency.

Secretary Florencio Abad said Thursday that the P3.430 billion for the National Rice Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) is aimed at increasing farmers’ yield.

“This is in line with the Aquino administration’s Social Contract commitment to reduce poverty by making the country self-sufficient in rice come 2013,” Abad said.

“ Through this program, the government makes sure that facilities, technologies and other interventions are in place to help us achieve this target,” he said.

Under the National Rice Program, farmers are provided with quality seeds, irrigation, credit and marketing assistance to improve farm productivity and profitability. The budget for the program is set at P5.217 billion for this year.

The DA expects to produce 17.45 million metric tons (MT) of palay this year, and plans to increase the output by 10 percent to 19.2 million MT in 2012, and by another 10 percent to 21.11 million MT in 2013.

In a technical budget hearing, DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said the agency is aiming for 91.9 percent rice self-sufficiency by 2012 from 84.4 percent this year.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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