Farmers in remote areas in Isabela and Abra are now producing their own high-quality seeds based on their learning from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Program.
“We used to struggle in acquiring seeds, and we cannot attain our [desired] yield from exchange seeds. Through this learning activity, we are not only farmers but also seed growers of high-quality seeds that can be easily accessed in our locality,” farmer Saldy San Jose of Dinapigue, Isabela said.
Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) in Isabela taught farmers to produce their own seeds and provide additional seed supply in remote areas.
In the wet season, farmer-participants produced about 200 bags of high-quality seeds, which benefitted 140 farmers in Dinapigue, Isabela, and La Paz and Manabo, Abra.
During RCEF seed distribution, it takes 7 hours to reach the coastal town of Dinapigue and one day to deliver the seeds in La Paz and Manabo from DA-PhilRice station in Isabela.
From January to April, 30 farmers were trained on proper farm techniques and technologies related to seed production following strict health protocol. Trainees learned to produce high-quality seeds of NSIC Rc 216, Rc 218, and Rc 160.
“They taught us everything from land preparation until harvesting,” San Jose quipped. Similar learning activities were already arranged for farmers in remote areas in Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino in the dry season.