As the planting season approaches, rice farmers in Tarlac are gearing up to receive a boost from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Seed Program, which is set to distribute over 80,000 sacks of certified inbred seeds across the province.

The province recently received 400 sacks of RCEF certified seeds distributed to more than 150 farmers from Victoria, Gerona, and Tarlac City. This distribution marks the program’s third consecutive season since its reinstatement in the province during the wet season of 2023.

Tarlac Governor Susan Yap commended the rice farmers for their hard work, highlighting Tarlac’s remarkable economic growth, which ranked as the top performer in 2023. 

“Tarlac boasted the fastest-growing gross value-added rate in 2023, soaring at an impressive 17.9% based on the PSA data,” she said.

Governor Yap reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting rice farmers by strengthening seed distribution efforts and agriculture programs. She also emphasized the goal of building progressive and resilient rice farming communities in the province. 

Farmers, impressed with the quality and performance of previous seasons’ seeds, eagerly anticipate the distribution of the certified seeds. 

Sonny G. Labarinto, a 43-year-old farmer, expressed gratitude for the RCEF Seed Program, attributing his increased yield to the high-quality seeds provided. 

“I achieved a 6.5t/h yield, exceeding previous harvests by 0.3-0.5t/ha. I’m grateful because the funds I would have spent on seed purchase were instead used to cover irrigation costs,” he said. 

Farmer-attendees during the briefing also gained more program information from RCEF representatives of Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, Agricultural Training Institute, and Land Bank of the Philippines.

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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