The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) in Negros Occidental turned over more than 300,000 bags of certified inbred rice seeds in Regions 6 and 7.
Jose Arnel Cordova, station’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)-Seed Program focal person, said farmers listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture in seven provinces received free seeds from the program. Extra bags delivered to the provinces were properly stored and will be distributed to municipalities needing additional seeds.
“Statistics show that Regions 6 and 7 have the lowest adoption rate of high-quality seeds. Because of this program, we have introduced a better farm practice to many farmers,” he said.
Through RCEF, Teodolfo Gindap harvested the highest yield in his 20 years of farming from the certified inbred rice seed.
Gindap, who now promotes this type of seeds to his fellow farmers, used to harvest 31cav in his 0.75ha-farm even with adequate water supply. With certified seeds, he harvested 76cav and saved P3,000 from seeds.
“Seeds from the program are good choices because they are high-quality seeds. I planted NSIC Rc 402 – a new, early maturing variety, in the wet season. I encourage my co-program beneficiaries to immediately plant the seeds instead of selling or milling the seeds,” he said.
Meanwhile, Federico Rosales of Zarraga, Iloilo, goes house to house to encourage fellow farmers to register in RSBSA for them to be included in agricultural projects. Together with fellow RSBSA-enlisted rice growers, they have also availed of the P16,000 loan, payable in 8 years with zero interest.
“Farmers are happily enjoying our benefits as beneficiary of the program. For me, I save one-third of my production cost or P3,000 because of RCEF seeds. My yield also increased from 110cav/ha to 127cav/ha. Other than the high-quality seeds, I also followed the rice production recommendations from the Gabay sa Makabagong Pagpapalay brochure,” he said.
The RCEF-Seed Program is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law, signed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, which allots P10 billion fund every year for the rice farmers. Sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Villar, the program is a six-year government initiative to help the farmers compete in the international rice market.
PhilRice leads the RCEF-Seed Program and is the government’s lead agency on rice research and development mandated to help ensure a rice-secure Philippines. With eight stations across the country, its programs and projects are in line with the DA’s “Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita” battlecry. For more information about the Institute’s program, queries can be sent thru PhilRice Text Center (0917 111 7423) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.