Learning to improve rice production is now made more fun and interactive with the recent launch of a digital campaign dubbed “Palaywakin ang Galing: yunPALAYun” to promote the technologies and services of  the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Extension Services Program (RCEF-RESP).

Dr. Karen Eloisa T. Barroga, vice chair of the RCEF- RESP Technical Working Group, said that the campaign name – a word play of palay and palawakin (expand), signifies the RCEF-RESP’s purpose of spreading modern rice farming knowledge to enhance rice farmers’ skills . The other key word of the campaign name, yunPALAYun ( a combination of palay and ‘yun pala ‘yun expression), is designed to teach farmers with the right farming technologies that can create significant yield increase and reduction in cost of rice production.   

“We know that our Filipino rice farmers are already good but we want to expand their knowledge. We also want to expand the coverage of the RCEF Extension Program so that it will also benefit farmer’s spouse, children, and also their farm workers. We are also expanding our training methods because we don’t want to be limited to training room or farm school settings, but through various media including online,” Barroga explained during the online campaign launch.

Barroga, also the deputy director for development of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice), said the campaign is implemented for farmers to  keep on learning so they can plant smarter using science-based and field-tested practices.

Barroga, said that through the campaign, farmers will also be encouraged to avail of the trainings under RCEF-RESP to enhance their knowledge, skills, and interest in farming.

As part of the campaign, a weekly webisode is shown over RCEF Extension Program FB page and YouTube channel every Wednesday at 3PM featuring successful farmers and PhilRice experts.

Barroga shared that the webisodes highlight topics on land preparation, seeding rate, and nutrient and pest management.  

For interactive learning, some episodes contain Palaywakin Ang Galing Trivia Challenge, in which active participants are incentivized.

Miss Earth Water 2020 Roxie Baeyens, Macki Moto, and Pinoy Palaboy – social media influencers who have a heart for farming, also joined the campaign. Baeyens showcased her day in the life of a farmer in one of the webisodes.

The campaign also features “Kwentong BayANI” to inspire farmers with stories from their fellow farmers.

“Studies show that farmers learn more through their fellow farmers. We have to give our successful farmers a voice so that they can share the technologies and practices that worked for them,” Barroga said.

She further encouraged farmers to participate in this campaign as agriculture is highly dynamic and therefore they  need to be on track to be successful.

“Let’s keep on learning so we can plant smarter. Through this campaign, you will not just learn, but will also have fun,” Barroga said.

The RCEF-RESP is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law signed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, which allots P10 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 local government units and lawmakers assist in its implementation.

The program is implemented by DA-PhilRice, DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, DA-Agricultural Training Institute, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

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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