The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is making the rice seeds more accessible to farmers through Lakbay Binhi, a project that brings high quality and location-specific seeds through trucks converted into mobile seed centers.
The project was pilot-tested in three sites affected by typhoon Lando. On 4-9 December, 82 bags of 20-kg registered seeds were given to over a hundred farmers of Dipaculao and Casiguran in Aurora and Guimba, Nueva Ecija.
Rhemilyn Relado, project lead, said that Lakbay-Binhi responds to the challenge of having the right amount of high quality seeds delivered to the farmers at the right time.
“With Lakbay Binhi, we can ensure the improvement in our farmers’ productivity and profitability given higher yields because of adoption of high quality seeds,” she said.
The pilot-testing was done to promote the mobile seed center which will eventually cater to hard-to-reach areas without seed growers.However, the initiative also aims to partner with seed growers of PhilRice-bred varieties who will serve as seed sources for Lakbay Binhi. Farmers can also avail high quality seeds at a reasonable price and seed growers can benefit from the partnership through PhilRice’s proactive promotion.
As added advantage for Lakbay Binhi customers,PhilRice experts will also come to the selected areas to share their knowledge on crop management practices and location-specific technologies.
After the pilot-testing activities in Aurora and Nueva Ecija, Lakbay Binhi will then be introduced to PhilRice branch stations, especially in areas where adoption of high quality seeds is low.