Farmer association in Naguilian, La Union, reported an increase in their harvest and decrease in rice production cost through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Program.

Gregorio Ramos Jr, president of the Naguilian Irrigators Service Association Inc., said their association had received farm machineries while 210 of their members were recipients of certified inbred seeds from RCEF.

“By using certified inbred rice seeds and farm machines, our harvest increased by 2t/ha, and some of us were able to pay our debt,” he said.

Tractor, mechanical transplanter, and combine harvester also contributed to the reduction of their farm operation cost by P15,000. Without the use of these farm machines, farmers usually spend P30,000 for a 1-ha rice farm.

With more savings from the income from rental fees, the farmer-group was also able to expand their Center as a venue for operations and meetings.

The RCEF-Seed and Mechanization Programs are components 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, RCEF 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.

DA-PhilRice leads the RCEF-Seed Program, and is the government’s lead agency on rice research and development mandated to help ensure a rice-secure Philippines. With eight stations across the country, its programs and projects are in line with the DA’s “Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita” battle cry. For more information about the Institute’s program, queries can be sent thru PhilRice Text Center (0917 111 7423) or email prri.mail@philrice.gov.ph.

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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