“A holistic, inclusive, and sustainable growth in the rice-based communities”, stated by Dr. Ronan Zagado of PhilRice Research Institute as he refers to the aim of Rural Transformation Movement (RTM)during its launching in conjunction with Farmers Field Day celebration with the theme “Iba-iba, Sama-sama, 1 milyong kita, kayang-kaya!” on Novembe 11, 2014 at PhilRice Bicol Station, Batang, Ligao City. During the speech of Dr. Zagado, he explained that the RTM focuses on transformation and change of the practices of local farmers in terms of rice-based agriculture to based agriculture to achieve the primary goal of the movement. Aside from technical assistance and educating rice farming technologies, Dr. Zagado further emphasized the need to develop a positive attitude of each farmers that will surely contribute for the good outcome of their hard work.
Newly introduced farming systems and strategies were discussed during the event as well as the important role of PhilRice farming stations that serve as the point of research and development, and will be providing technical assistance, inputs, and machinery requirements to farmers.
Aside from Dr. Zagado, Representative of the 3rd District of Albay Congressman Fernando V. Gonzalez and Ligao City Mayor Patricia Gonzalez-Alsua graced the ceremony. Cong. Gonzalez mentioned in his message that RTM is a step in tranforming the society into a productive economy. City Mayor Alsua added that 84% of Ligao’s total land area consist of agricultural land which makes Farming a major activity in the city, thus, the City Government of Ligao prioritizes and supports the need of its farmers by establishing infrastructures and conducting beneficial programs tot he agricultural industry.
Rural Transformation Movement operationalizes two major campaigns: the Gusto naming milyonaryo kayo and Be RICEponsible. The movement aims to change tillers’ behavior on farm enterprise and intensify Filipino’s commitment in helping the country produce enough rice.