The Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) in Agusan del Norte contributed in ensuring food security in its area of coverage by providing seeds planted in more than 100,000ha.
Under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)-Seed Program, Jasmin Reyes, PhilRice Agusan RCEF branch focal person said more than 250,000 bags of certified inbred seeds were distributed and planted in the Northern, Northeastern, and Southern Mindanao.
Reyes said that over 76,000 farmers in about 120 municipalities received at least 40 kg of certified seeds. Farmers were listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture.
Gregorio Orig, a 52-year-old farmer in Carmen, Surigao del Sur shared his harvest had increased with the certified inbred rice seeds he received from the program.
“I used to produce only 60-80 bags (60kg/bag)/ha, but through these certified seeds, I harvested 100 bags per hectare!” Orig said.
Meanwhile, Robert Oracion, a municipal agriculturist of New Corella, Davao del Norte commended the program as farmers in their area now prefer high-quality seed.
The RCEF-Seed Program, which is a component of the Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication law signed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, 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. The local government units and lawmakers assist in its implementation.
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 email@example.com.