Implementers of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) – Seed program have started to roll out certified inbred seeds to early planters in the Cordillera Autonomous Region and Region II.
The program, which is expected to benefit more than 74,000 rice farmers in four provinces, has already distributed over 7,000 bags to early planters in Nueva Vizcaya.
As part of seed distribution, farmers were briefed on modern rice farming practices and were given a rice production guide.
“I learned a lot from the technical briefing from proper land preparation to harvesting, which are helpful in increasing our yield,” said Crisencio A. Artienda, 60-year-old rice farmer from Brgy. Abian, Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya.
While rice farmers in Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Kalinga, and Ifugao are covered by the RCEF-Seed program, growers in Isabela and Cagayan will receive seeds from the National Rice Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The RCEF-Seed Program – a component of the Rice Tariffication Law, allocates P3 billion fund every year for the seed requirements of rice farmers and to help farmers produce rice that can compete in the international market. Farmers under the RCEF program can also avail of trainings, machines, and credit with low interest.
The local government units and lawmakers assist in its implementation. DA-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.