Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija – Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) here encouraged about 2,000 rice farmers to adopt ways for them to cope with the entry of cheaper rice from the international market.

In the Institute’s recent Lakbay Palay, Lea d. Abaoag, activity coordinator, said certified inbred seeds, machines, credit assistance, and training programs can help rice growers increase their yield and reduce production costs under the rice free trade regime.

Abaoag, also the Training Management Services Division head, said that shifting to certified seeds can increase yield by 10% as this seed class is more resistant against pests and diseases and contains no or less mixture.

“However, use of certified seeds should be complemented with proper management including land preparation and right fertilizer application.  Fields that are not well-levelled can reduce yield by 5% while applying the required amount of needed fertilizer at the right time will not only increase farmers’ but also reduce cost,” she emphasized.

By adopting machines, the supervising science research specialist said, that farmers can save more than 50% of their total farm expenses. When using mechanical transplanter and combine harvester, farmers can save almost P5,000.

“If we can reduce our usual outflow of P12 per kilo of palay to 30% and attain 6t/ha, we can compete with our counterparts from other countries,” she said.

She added that farmers can provide needed farm inputs thru loans with low interest, and they can upgrade their farm skills and knowledge thru training and scholarships.

Gene Margaret Lazaro, representative from Landbank of the Philippines, informed that individual farmers availing of loan must be listed in the Department of Agriculture’s Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture, must have good credit rating, and does not have outstanding loan for the same project.

“To be eligible, he/she must also attend rice training under the Agricultural Training Institute and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. Trainings provided by other institutions will also be recognized as long as these are certified by MAOs,” she said.

With the theme, “Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita,” Lakbay Palay was participated by farmers across the county and is conducted bi-annually every dry and wet cropping season.

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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