Sugpon, Ilocos Sur — The Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Seed Program has catalyzed a significant 13.5% increase in rice yield in this town,  highlighted during the wet season’s kick-off ceremony, where 150 indigenous farmers received free certified inbred seeds.

Municipal Agriculturist Victoria S. Sumagca lauded the contributions of RCEF.

“Because of RCEF, Sugpon has achieved a 13.5% increase in our production yield, from an average yield of 3.93 metric tons in 2019 to 4.56 metric tons in 2023,” she reported.

Meanwhile, Aurelio Dayag Sr., municipal indigenous peoples’ mandatory representative, expressed gratitude for the program’s impact on indigenous farmers’ livelihoods.

“Before RCEF implementation, farmers in our community were planting traditional rice varieties only for their family consumption. But now, we are producing and selling high-quality rice or seeds competitive with other rice products in the urban market,” he said. 

RCEF Seed Program is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law, which allots P10 billion funds yearly for rice farmers. Sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Villar, the program is a six-year government initiative to help farmers improve their competitiveness. PhilRice leads its implementation, in partnership with the local government units and lawmakers.

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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