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Farmers in Region II had committed themselves to be more productive following their attendance to a season-long training on PalayCheck, an integrated crop management system for rice, and Palayamanan, a diversified rice-based farming system.

“Farmers are eager to learn new technologies, but sometimes, we lack government support. We are lucky that we have this free training, so it’s a must for us to have initiatives to increase our yield and income,” said Romeo A. Fajardo, 57, an integrated rice-based farmer in Santiago City, Isabela.

Fajardo is one of the 205 farmers who recently received their certificates on finishing a four-month training conducted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute and the Department of Agriculture in Region II.

Farmer-graduates learned the eight key practices in rice production, which include the use of certified seeds, proper land preparation, synchronous planting, and right fertilizer application. They also learned to avoid excessive water in their field, implement integrated pest management, and cut and threshing their crop at the right time.

In Palayamanan, they learned to diversify crop and integrate fishpond, poultry, and livestock in their farm.

Farmer-graduates are from different trainings conducted by PhilRice Isabela in Itogon, Benguet and RizaL, Pinukpok in Kalinga; Jones, San Mateo, and Santiago City, Isabela; Paracelis, Mountain Province; and Alfonso Lista, Ifugao.

Meanwhile, Lorenzo Caranguian, technical director for operations and extension in DA Region II said that if farmers are to be receptive to new technologies, there is a “big chance that our country will soon be rice self-sufficient.”

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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