Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently trained about 300 rice-based growers in Marawi, Lanao del Sur to help them resume farming, which was left for almost a year due to the city’s siege.
Teodora Briones, head of PhilRice’s Corporate Services Division, said farmers in the area expressed interest in going back to farming after Ramadan. However, the farmers have yet to restore their livelihood and regain capital to start again.
“Farmers’ present priority includes having enough food for their family’s everyday needs. Through rice-based farming, they will eventually recover,” Briones said.
Farmers were given about 376 sacks of quality rice seeds after the training. Rainfed cultivators in the villages of Patani and Sugod received NSIC Rc 286 seeds while upland farmers in the villages of Kilala and Banga were provided with Alo-al and Dapolog seeds.
Moreover, three sacks of organic and inorganic fertilizers were provided to each farmer. Vegetable seeds and farm tools such as shovel, hand sprayer, knapsack sprayer, and garden hoe were also distributed.
Abdul Racman Tampi, farmer from Banga, said government interventions help them increase their income.
“We appreciate this help from JICA and our government. We can start cultivating our land for crop production again,” he said.
The training is under the Rice-based Farming Technology Extension Project for Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. It focused on the use of quality seeds of recommended rice varieties, PalayCheck System or the integrated management of growing rice, and vegetable production.
A survey will be conducted in 2019 to assess whether the farming families were able to supply their own food and increase their income. JICA funds the project thru Technical Cooperation Project 5. -With reports from Zenny Awing and Mohamadsaid Gandawali