Amidst community quarantine, the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) – Seed Program had delivered, as of May 8, 53,000 bags of certified rice inbred seeds; helping more than 13,000 farmers in Region 2 and Cordillera Autonomous Region.
Andres dela Cruz Jr., RCEF Seed Focal Person in Region 2, said that partnership with Department of Agriculture (DA) – Regional Field Office, provincial and local government units (LGUs), and seed growers fast tracked movements without compromising safety in serving the farmers during the virus lockdown.
“We are strengthening our partnership with LGUs as they are the frontliners in distributing seeds in this health crisis,” dela Cruz said.
Partners mobilized barangay officials to deliver the seeds to farmers’ houses and improvised shield out of plastic covers as partition during distribution.
Health of farmers who are senior citizens or with disabilities were prioritized by allowing authorized representatives to receive the high-quality seeds for them.
Physical distancing and proper wearing of masks are also strictly observed by the participants.
DA’s Philippine Rice Research Institute in San Mateo, Isabela will reach out municipalities in Isabela, Quirino, and Nueva Vizcaya to deliver and distribute seeds from May 18-23. Leaflet on modern rice production is also given to farmer-recipients.
PhilRice 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.