Written by the Web Team
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) signed on March 28 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during the Lakbay-Palay conducted at Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) based in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.
The MOU, which aims to increase rice yield while reducing farm expenses, stipulates that DA through PhilRice will train farmer-leaders in agrarian reform communities (ARCs) on rice production technologies using the PalayCheck system, an integrated crop management approach. Farmer-leaders will also be trained on business management and in the operation and maintenance of the farm machinery and tools that will be provided by DAR to the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs).
Currently covering farmer-beneficiaries in Region III, the training is part of Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) program – DAR’s banner program that aims to foster entrepreneurship in ARCs.
“The agriculture landscape in the world is changing…. It’s not enough that we increase farmers’ yield but we must also improve their [economic] status,” Dante S. de Lima, assistant secretary and national coordinator for Agri-Pinoy Rice Program, assured about 2,000 farmer-participants from Luzon and Mindanao.
Lakbay-Palay, PhilRice’s first Institutional Field Day for the year, highlighted technologies that could help the country achieve rice self-sufficiency by 2013. These technologies include new varieties, farm machines, diagnostic tools for nutrient deficiencies, and recommendations on land preparation and water management.
Atty. Virgilio R. de los Reyes, DAR secretary said the technologies will complement the department’s initiatives on strengthening farmers’ organizations and promoting the use of farm machinery.
Meanwhile, about 200 students in Nueva Ecija and Ilocos Norte also learned PhilRice technologies, which they said, they would share to their farmer-parents and relatives. They also appreciated their roles in achieving the country’s goal by not wasting a single grain of rice.
They further told organizers that they will impart to their fellow youth the right amount of eating rice and trying other sources of carbohydrates such as corn, cassava, banana, and sweet potato for better health.