Cotabato Province top rice producer of Region 12
Cotabato Province top rice producer of Region 12
KIDAPAWAN CITY - The Department of Agriculture (DA) ranked Cotabato Province in 2022 as the No. 1 rice producer in Region 12, the region that has remained as Mindanao’s rice granary.

Cotabato Governor Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza said in her State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Tuesday (Mar.14) at the Provincial Gymnasium in Amas, Kidapawan City, that the No. 1 rank reinforces the popularity of Cotabato Province as the food basket of Central Mindanao.


Mendoza assumed as Governor of Cotabato Province in July 2022. Prior to this, she served three terms (nine years) as Governor from 2010 to 2019, one term as Vice Governor from 2019 to 2022, and three terms as representative of the province’s first district to Congress from 2001 to 2010.


The governor reported to the people that DA has also ranked Cotabato Province as No. 3 in Mindanao and No. 10 in the country in rice production registering a yield volume of 510,973 MT and a 134 percent surplus production making the province rice sufficient.  The Philippine Rice Research Institute of the DA recent data showed the province of  Cotabato has 132,071 hectares harvested for rice at 3.87 MT yield per hectare in 2022.


“Cotabato province is known as the food basket of Central Mindanao and that is our pride,” Mendoza said.

“Let us continue to double our efforts so that these achievements translate to better sustained and improved lives for our farmers.”


DA confirmed Cotabato is considered as Mindanao’s food basket. It is a major producer of cereals, tropical fruits, vegetables, sugarcane, coconut, coffee, freshwater fish and livestock. It is also one of the country’s leading producers of raw and semi-processed rubber, with markets in Asia and Europe, and industrial trees. For the livestock sector, DA said the province primarily produces chicken, hogs, ducks, goats, carabaos and cows. Carabao has the highest number of heads under ruminants and chicken for the poultry.

Zeroing in on the rice farmers’ welfare as well as improving rice production,  Mendoza said a rice summit was conducted during the celebration of Kalivungan Festival last year. The summit aims to assess the status of the province’s rice industry and directly hear from the rice farmers their sentiments, their actual needs, and when they need government support. 


The province also created the Rice Technical Working Group (RiceTWG)  to help oversee the effective implementation of the rice production program and to ensure that it is attuned to the needs of the rice sector to improve farming facilities.


To increase the palay farmers’ profits, the provincial government entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the National Food Authority (NFA) and allocated a P4.5 million budget that shall be added to the existing NFA buying price.  “As a result, palay purchases are made with additional P2 to P4.50 per kilo on top of the NFA buying price,” Mendoza said.


The budget was raised with the considerable amount committed by some municipalities including Antipas, Magpet, Matalam, Carmen. Midsayap, Makilala, M’lang, and the city of Kidapawan. The governor recognized and commended these LGUs for their rice marketing assistance in her SOPA.


At the summit, rice farmers raised post-harvest losses as one of the major challenges they face in the rice industry.


To address this problem, the provincial government distributed 1000 pieces of laminated sacks (trapal) and 40 collapsible dryers and constructed six units of drying pavements.


In partnership with the Philippine Center for Post-harvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund  (RCEF), the Provincial Cooperative Development Office has allocated P38 million worth of farm machinery for the mechanization program.


The farm machinery is scheduled to be distributed to the farmers during the National Organic Summit that would be graced by President Marcos this March at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Mendoza said.


Under the same program, a state-of-the-art rice processing facility amounting to P72 million for the Sta. Catalina Multipurpose Cooperative is under construction. “This project was conceptualized to continue and contribute to the rice processing and marketing system of Cotabato Province,” the governor said.


Region 12 comprises the provinces of North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.  

Cotabato Province Governor Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza speaks to the people and detailed in her report her administration’s achievements since she assumed office in July 2022. 

Cotabato Province is 134 percent rice sufficient

She underscores the raise of P2 to P4.50 the price of palay on top of NFA’s existing buying price to help increase the farmers’ profits

The people listen as the governor reports the provincial government’s achievements 

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