A model farming community anchored on integrated, and diversified rice-based farming system will soon rise in Isabela to help farmers increase their productivity, and profitability.
“The said concept is an upgraded Palayamanan System now called Palayamanan Plus,” said Andres L. dela Cruz, PhilRice Isabela science research specialist.
Palayamanan is a diversified integrated rice-based farming system focusing on small-scale rice farming households directed towards farm diversification to increase farm productivity and address food security.
Dela Cruz explained the system was upgraded to Palayamanan Plus – a farming systems model that consolidates small farm holders into a large-scale intensified rice-based agri-bio systems. It aims to increase income and profitability in the rice environments through integration, and diversification of certain farming components to achieve higher level of intensification and allow higher crop productivity, enhanced resource use efficiency, and value-adding.
The project was initiated through help and support of the local government unit (LGU) of Quirino, Isabela.
“Here in our barangay, our average yield is only 5 t/ha that is why we have high hopes in this project,” said Rogelio A. Maluyo, San Juan Irrigators Association (IA) President.
The project will include 20 ha of rice area covered by San Juan IA. About 35 farmers will be enrolled in Farmers’ Field School (FFS) where they will learn how to adopt Palayaman Plus. All the enrolled farmers will then be formed as an organization.
“Aside from having crop combinations such as rice-mungbean or rice-melon, the said project will include livestock integration, mushroom production, and organic fertilizer production,” Dela Cruz said.
PhilRice Isabela will provide the initial planting materials, animal stocks, and other inputs. The inputs, Dela Cruz added, will be provided as loan.
“Come harvest time or when livestock are sold, the loan payment will be retained by the organization subjected to the rolled-over scheme as part of their operational capital,” Dela Cruz explained.
The project is a component of the study Accelerating Development, Demonstration, and Adoption of Palayamanan Plus in Lowland Farms led by Rizal G. Corales and Dr. Aurora M. Corales, both supervising science research specialists of PhilRice.