Over 2,800 farmers, agricultural extension workers, students, and other stakeholders learned new rice and rice-based farming technologies during the farmers’ field days conducted by five PhilRice branch stations.
“Our farmers’ field days are one of our ways to bring the technologies to our farmers. They also serve as an opportunity for us to brief our farmers about our new programs that could help them become more competitive by adopting our technologies,” said Dr. Sailila A. Abdula, PhilRice executive director.
PhilRice Batac showcased new climate-resilient technologies like the treadle pump, a water lifting device that uses renewable energy and low-cost drip irrigation system for dragon fruit cactus production. With almost 850 participants, the station aims to teach farmers how to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
PhilRice Los Baños (LB) toured over 200 participants from neighboring municipalities and provinces in its hybrid seed production area to encourage farmers to plant hybrid rice. A technology forum was also conducted focusing on the advantages of public hybrid seeds in increasing yield.
Dr. Tomas M. Masajo, a hybrid rice expert at PhilRice LB emphasized during his lecture that public hybrid should be promoted to provide labor opportunities in seed production and distribution.
In support to DA’s mechanization program, PhilRice Negros introduced farm machines to about 500 farmers, students, and local project implementers during the Lakbay Palay activity. Machines showcased include mechanical transplanter, fourwheel tractor, turtle and microtillers, combine harvester, and reaper.
In PhilRice Agusan, farm technologies and business opportunities in agriculture were presented to more than 900 farmers, project implementers, and local stakeholders. DA Caraga Regional Executive Director Abel James Monteagudo promoted the hybrid rice program of the government and encouraged farmers to engage in agri-business to help boost their income.
The station also involved indigenous people from Esperanza, Agusan del Sur and soldiers of 4th infantry division from Malaybalay, Bukidnon to further strengthen their ties as partners in delivering developmental initiatives.
PhilRice Bicol, on the other hand, launched the RiceBIS Community Program during its field day. RiceBIS stands for Rice Business Innovations System. It is a new development program of PhilRice to help increase farmer’s yield, lower their production cost, and link them to business development service providers. With Dr. Aurora Corales , RiceBIS project lead, the station gathered 366 cooperative members and extension workers from Bicol region. Corales also discussed the components of the program to be consistent with the projects implemented by the local government offices and agencies.