Batac City, Ilocos Norte – Participants here of the first batch of Training of Trainers under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Extension Services Program (RCEF-RESP) are now equipped to help enhance farmers’ competitiveness.

Sonia V. Pojas, RCEF training coordinator in the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice), said that trainees showed dedication and commitment during the course, which was completed last week of November.     

The 15 participants who underwent two weeks of intensive training were composed of agricultural extension workers, local farmer technicians, and farm school owners and workers in Ilocos Norte.

John Lei Ganiron, co-owner of the Romaine Organics Agriculture Academy, said that he had adopted the farm practices shared during the training, which he is excited to impart to his fellow farmers.

Participants were trained on applying integrated rice farming system called PalayCheck, producing high-quality inbred rice seeds, and operating farm machineries.

The RCEF-RESP 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. The local government units and lawmakers assist in its implementation.

The program is implemented by Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, Agricultural Training Institute, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute