MANGATAREM, PANGASINAN – Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar commends farmers under the Rice Business Innovations System (RiceBIS) Mangatarem Modern Farm Project who are top yielders during the recent Gawad Ani Achievement Day.
Raymundo Banaga achieved the highest yield of 8t/ha for the 2021 wet season, followed by Jun Espiritu with 6.2 t/ha, and Rolando Sevilla with 5.3 t/ha yield.
Dar also congratulated the RiceBIS project team and the Pangasinense farmers who participated.
“The success of the project is attributed to it being technology-driven and innovative, providing farmers with new technologies and modern seed varieties,” Dar emphasized.
He added that the RiceBIS clustering and consolidation approach, which is one of DA’s major strategies, pushed for the positive outcome.
“DA will continue to determine the best markets for the Mangatarem rice farmers to ensure that their progress is unrestrained. All the hard work and services of the government for agriculture are always focused on helping farmers. I hope that farmers continue to achieve masaganang ani at mataas na kita,” he said.
Jun Espiritu, one of the top yielders, is grateful that thru the training on the modern way of rice farming provided by RiceBIS, his farm’s yield has increased.
Rolando Sevilla, another top yielder, encouraged his fellow rice farmers to be open to new technologies being introduced to them.
“Let us try the new technologies in our farms so we can see how they can help improve our lives,” he said.
The project, spearheaded by the DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), has formed over ten farmer clusters in Mangatarem, covering 400 farmers and more than 300 hectares of farmlands. It also successfully increased the average yield of farmers-beneficiaries from 3.5 to 4.2 metric tons and a 64% increase in their income.