The Department of Agriculture (DA) is ensuring the availability of quality seeds through training conducted at Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, July 20-25.
Dr. Karen Eloisa T. Barroga, PhilRice acting deputy executive director on development, said the five-day training on producing high-quality inbred rice seeds and farm mechanization emphasized on attaining a rice-secure country.
“[DA agencies] work together to attain the vision of a rice-secure country. This means that rice must be available, accessible, and affordable; that rice should be safe and nutritious at all times,” Barroga said.
Farmer-scientists, local farmer technicians, and farmer group leaders from regions in Luzon and from CARAGA are taught how to produce quality seeds for themselves and for other farmers in their area.
According to Barroga, farmers using quality seeds has increased to 58% from 41% in 2016.
“However, only 42% of the farmers use their own harvested seeds. This training educates you on seed purification so you can produce your own quality seeds. We encourage you to be seed growers so you can provide access to quality seeds in your area,” she said.
Meanwhile, Lea Abaoag, head of PhilRice Technology Management and Services Division said the training also enhances the farmer-leaders’ skills to train fellow rice farmers.
PalayCheck System, an integrated crop management system for rice, and specific technologies to ensure the quality of seeds were introduced to the participants.
The informal rice seed system were discussed and mind setting activities were also conducted to encourage the participants to help their fellow rice farmers.
The training was conducted in partnership with the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, Agricultural Training Institute, and Villar Social Institute for Poverty and Governance. Participants had their training on farm mechanization at Villar Sipag Farm School in San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan.
Highlights of the said training include: