After nearly 11 years at sea, Engracio G. Tupaz, 57, has transitioned to rice farming, achieving a net income of over PhP100,000 a hectare from his 2.3-ha farm. 

Returning to the Philippines in 2012, Tupaz’s agricultural journey has not only sustained his livelihood but also funded his three children’s college education.

Initially lacking expertise in rice farming, Tupaz joined the PalaySikatan technology demonstration under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Seed Program, participating as a farmer-cooperator during the 2022 wet and dry seasons. His dedication to learning new techniques quickly paid off.

“In the 2023 dry season, I planted NSIC Rc 222 using the drum seeder. My average yield was 6.6t/ha, and I sold it for PhP24/kg right after harvest,” Tupaz shared. Prior to joining PalaySikatan, his harvests were between 3-4t/ha.

He also achieved a 95-100% maturity rate for his rice, using a bite test to ensure crispiness.

Meanwhile, the drum seeder has significantly reduced his labor costs from PhP7,000 to PhP2,200 a hectare. Seeds, amounting to 40-45kg/ha, was also enough for direct seeding.

“I only need three people to operate the machine compared to 20 for transplanting,” he noted. 

Tupaz’s success is not just personal; he also shares his knowledge and experience with fellow farmers. 

“Tupaz is one of our dedicated farmer-cooperators who continues to adopt new technologies in rice farming from our PalaySikatan program,” technology demonstration officer Eugene E. Agudong said.

Grateful for the free certified seeds provided by the program, Tupaz has experimented with various varieties including NSIC Rc 508, Rc 216, Rc 402, Rc 480, Rc 512, and Rc 222. 

He also stays informed by watching PhilRice’s PalayAralan videos, participating in learning activities, and maintaining regular contact with his Municipal Agriculture Office.

PalaySikatan, a project under the RCEF Seed Program, showcases the benefits of recommended machinery and rice varieties through demonstration farms.

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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