About 27,000 farmers who have received certified inbred seeds from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Seed Program in Quezon are hopeful for a good harvest this April.

Melinda P. Cerdon, project partner in Mulanay, expects a repeat of high yield from the PSB Rc 18 she received from the program. 

“I’ve been harvesting 1.5t/ha for almost two decades. But for the first time in 2020, I gained 4.5t/ha,” she said. 

Cerdon, also the president of Ibabang Yuni Farmers Association, said that RCEF recommended varieties exhibited good growth and consistent panicle development. 

Meanwhile, Johnny Dignosanto, president of the Samahan ng Magpapalay sa Brgy. Sta. Rosa, Mulanay, doubled his harvest from 2.2t/ha to 5.5t/ha by planting NSIC Rc 216 and Rc 218 in his 1-ha rice field last wet season. He also saved PhP4,000 from the program’s free certified inbred seeds.

Farmer partners including Cerdon also received scholarships from the RCEF Extension Program, providing her the opportunity to attend training on high-quality inbred seeds and farm mechanization and guided her in managing their 2.7-ha.

Cerdon also changed her practice of seeding 100kg/ha to 40kg/ha, reducing her expenses by PhP4,000. 

Members of the Ibabang Yuni Farmers Association also practice synchronous planting, which they observed is effective in controlling insect pest incidences.

The RCEF Seed and Extension Programs are components of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law, which allocates P3.1 billion fund every year for the seed and  extension requirements of rice farmers to help them improve their competitiveness. LGUs, lawmakers and partners assist in its implementation.

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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