Farmers lead the expression of gratitude to the implementation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Program in a rice growers’ gathering in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, March 29-30. 

With the theme, “RCEF, Ano na?!,” Lakbay Palay provided a platform for farmers including Frianina V. Resplandor, Atty. Mamaerto S. Villanueva, Eulogio G. Federizo, and Nariza B. Tan to share their experiences on availing program’s provision on training, seed, machines, and credit.

Under its Extension Program, around 5 million rice-related information were extended and disseminated while about 200,000 farmers and extension workers were trained since 2019. 

“The Rice Specialists Training Course did not only help us but also our community. We were able to enhance our knowledge and skills on farming, which we are now sharing to our fellow farmers. The farmers we have trained in six of the 10 villages have already formed their associations while our yield increased from 5.6t/ha to 7.5t/ha,” Resplandor of Guimba, Nueva Ecija said.

Records also show that more than 11 million sacks (containing 20kg each) of certified inbred rice seeds were distributed to the rice farmers who have received the provision four to six times over the past four years.

“Before RCEF, we used to harvest a little over 4t/ha. By planting the certified inbred rice seeds from the program, we’re now enjoying an abundant harvest of at least 6t/ha, Villanueva of Candaba, Pampanga, said.

Meanwhile, more than 20,000 farm machines such as hand tractors, precision seeders, reapers, mobile grain dryers, and mobile rice mills were also awarded to farmers and cooperatives. 

“Through the machines provided by the program, our cooperative’s assets grew from P116,000 to P5.9M,” Federizo of Bongabon, Nueva Ecija shared.

Meanwhile, Tan of Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija shared that their harvests have increased by almost 2t/ha with enough inputs, which they were able to afford through a loan with 2% annual interest from the program. RCEF has already released more than P3B in loans to farmers and farmer-cooperatives to support their agricultural ventures with minimal interest. 

A ceremonial distribution of certified inbred seed and awarding of financial assistance were also held during the program, which was participated by more than 1,000 farmers from Luzon and Mindanao.

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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