Few months after a techno demo, adoption of two-wheeled lightweight machine for direct seeding known as plastic drumseeder had increased to 200% in Libungan, Cotabato.
From seven rice farmers who participated in a 2020 wet season techno demo, 21 farmers have established their crops using plastic drumseeder this 2021 dry season. The machine was developed and promoted by the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice).
Victorino Dumanig, 58, farmer from Gumaga, Libungan said that seeding rate per hectare was slashed from 120kg/ha to 70kg/ha using drumseeder.
“At first, we were unsure of this machine, but seeing our crops with more tillers without yield reduction is more than enough to convince us in using drumseeder every cropping season,” said Dumanig, who has been growing rice for 30 years.
According to Dr. Pernelyn Torreña, project lead of the Rice Business Innovation System (RiceBIS) Community Program of PhilRice Midsayap, the station has provided five units of drumseeder for 2021 dry season planting. She said that they are looking into acquiring more units, as they received more inquiries on how to avail the machine in the next cropping season.
“It was our first time to showcase the machine for direct seeding in Gumaga, Libungan. We initially had five farmer-cooperators, and before crop establishment started, two more farmers showed interest to be part of the techno demo. With 21 farmers who are now using this machine, we are foreseeing more adopters,” Torreña said.
Torreña said that the increase in machine adoption was due to the good standing crop seen by neighboring farmers and passersby in the area.
In 2020, 18 farmers in Midsayap, Cotabato have used drumseeder, which has increased from seven farmers in 2019.
The techno demo activities are part of DA-PhilRice’s RiceBIS Community Program, which aims to increase productivity of farmers through yield-enhancing and cost-reducing technologies and engage them in agro-enterprise. For more information about RiceBIS program, queries can be sent thru PhilRice Text Center (0917 111 7423) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. [with reports from Wynrich Bugtay]