To enhance the competitiveness of rice farmers, the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) in Ilocos Norte and the local government unit of Piddig tied up in promoting high-yielding varieties and cost-reducing technologies through a Farmer Field School (FFS).

The FFS showcased a nationally recommended high-yielding inbred variety, NSIC Rc 160, and newly-released varieties NSIC Rc 508 and Rc 512, which yield from 5.6 to 10.8t/ha.  

Cost-reducing technologies for crop establishment such as mechanical seeder and mechanical transplanter also enable farmers to follow the recommended seeding rate to save on labor cost and transplant the seedlings at the right age.

“We are intensifying the integration of new farming technologies through our technology demonstration and farmers’ training to achieve higher yield and income,” said Sonia Pojas, Learn Rice project lead.

Felix Suni, 63, from Tagudin, Ilocos Sur was impressed with the varieties’ crop stand and rice machines’ efficiency featured in the FFS.

“Farming expenses are very expensive nowadays. We’re happy that these machines were introduced because it has significantly decreased labor costs. We used to spend PhP15,000 on a 0.15ha area, but with the use of a mechanical transplanter, we have saved PhP3,000. It also helped increase our harvest by 2t/ha,” he said.

FFS participants were encouraged to adopt the varieties and machines in the next cropping season.

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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