Written by the Web Team
Farmers in the province of Aurora are adopting PalayCheck®, an integrated crop management system for rice developed mainly by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), to help the province in its bid to be known as the country`s “haven of fancy rice.”
Rolando C. San Gabriel, lead of the AURora`s ORganically Grown Aromatic Rice (Aurora) projects, said 22 farmers who are planting Basmati rice recently graduated from the PalayCheck® Field School (PFS) in Brgy. Esteves, Casiguran.
“The farmers didn`t immediately adopt PalayCheck®, particularly the nutrient and pest management. But when the system was proved useful in managing sheath blight during this year’s dry season, farmers started to apply practices from the PalayCheck®,” San Gabriel recalled.
The project, a collaboration among the office of Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, Aurora Grains, Inc, PhilRice, and Rural Empowerment and Development Foundation, Inc, aims to package field practices that will produce good quality aromatic rice at the least cost.
Manuel Jose C. Regalado, PhilRice deputy executive director for research and the project`s proponent, said that the cultivation of aromatic rice varieties such as the Philippine Basmati in the project sites is based on varieties’ production cost and marketability.
“Other than the potential high yield, we introduce and test varieties with less production cost but with high command price for farmers in this province to have a better income,” he said.
Implementers said another batch of Aurora farmers are expected to complete the season-long PFS in Brgy. Calantas, December this year. Farmers enrolled in PFS are trained for three cropping seasons, in which they learn proper practices on seed quality, land preparation, crop establishment, and proper management of nutrient, water, pest, and harvest.