The graduate

If you thought people of age are stubborn and not open to modern ideas, meet Nanay Cecilia F. Tagobador, 54-year-old farmer from Bago City, Negros Occidental. She is one of the 125 farmers who graduated from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Farmer Field School facilitated by MBA Forest Technical School Inc. under the auspices of the RCEF Extension program.

“We learned that spraying pesticide should not be done right away but should only be as a last resort, “ Tagobador recalls.

Tagobador also acquainted herself with the certified seeds distributed by RCEF since they were only using home-saved seeds before. Twenty Rice Specialists’ Training Course (RSTC) and 96 Farmer Field School (FFS) participants have completed their training on the latest farm technologies.

The trainees from Regions 10, 11, and 13 are now specialists on the production of high-quality inbred rice, seed certification, and farm mechanization. RSTC participants work in the DA-Regional Field Office, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Municipal Agriculture Office, Farmers’ Cooperatives and Associations, and accredited farm schools of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. Meanwhile, FFS enrollees are from barangays of Butuan City.

Provincial Soils Coordinator of the Surigao del Sur Agricultural Office seeds before. With the training and the certified seeds provided, she is confident that she can manage her rice field well and gain profit from it.

The trainer

One of the trainers is Jovanie A. Gino, who’s been in the Institute for seven years. The 25-year-old instructor has been educating farmers since the implementation of the RCEF-Training of Trainers (ToT) in 2020 after he finished the ToT in DA-PhilRice Negros.

Aside from the interactive lectures, he would go to the farmers’ fields upon request. As a high school graduate, Gino admitted that there is a lot to be learned, so he never stops learning and attending trainings when possible.

Some of the beneficiaries of the training are farmers’ sons and daughters who decided to get involved and help their parents manage their rice fields. This is welcome news in sustaining the rice industry in their community. As of this writing, the MBA Forest Technical School has produced 200 graduates.

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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