Farmers and extension workers expressed contentment with the implementation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) in a recent consultation conducted in Agdangan, Quezon.

Marvin Valle, agricultural technician, said that the seed deliveries and distribution in the wet season were well-facilitated and that inbred seed provisions were of high quality.

“Farmers and agriculturists noted that RCEF activities were well-coordinated. They also mentioned that the quality of seeds was ‘tested and proven,” he said.

Valle shared the majority of the farmer-beneficiaries were notified of the distribution schedules through text messages while senior rice growers were informed through house visits.

Farmers told implementers that NSIC Rc 160 was preferred in the wet season, while Rc 216 was favored in the dry season.

Rc 160, known for its good-eating quality, yields about 6t/ha on average and has a maximum yield of 8t/ha. It is susceptible to tungro and brown plant hopper, and resistant to stemborer and white stemborer.

Meanwhile, Rc 216 yields 6t/ha and about 10t/ha at most. It is moderately resistant to brown planthopper, green leafhopper, and stemborer.

While the inbred rice seeds are of high quality, farmers admitted the need to be reminded of the recommended farming practices through training.

Under RCEF-Rice Extension Services Program (RESP), information materials on modern rice farming were also distributed to the program beneficiaries who are enlisted in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture.

“I learned [better way of farming] from the materials, which improved my yield and my practices on applying fertilizer,” a farmer-participant shared.

RCEF beneficiaries also said that the technology videos aired during seed distribution were “informative, entertaining, and easy to understand.”

The RCEF-RESP, which is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law signed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, allots P1 billion fund every year for the rice farmers. Sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Villar, the program is a six-year government initiative to help the farmers compete in the international rice market.

The program is implemented by DA-PhilRice (Seed & Extension Components), DA-PhilMech (Mechanization), DA-Agricultural Training Institute (Extension), TESDA (Extension), LandBank of the Philippines (Credits), and Development Bank of the Philippines (Credits). The local government units and lawmakers assist in its implementation.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute