Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) – Seed Program farmer-beneficiaries in Region I reported that the free certified inbred seeds given to them significantly increased rice yield.
Elvira Licudine, 68, from Bacnotan La Union, shared that her family was only harvesting 60 sacks of rice. However, when they became RCEF beneficiaries, their harvest had increased from 60 to 100 sacks.
“In spite of typhoon and water shortage in the previous cropping seasons, our harvest has not been heavily affected because we used high-quality seeds,” she said.
With higher yield, they were able to acquire farm machines such as rice-corn thresher and hand-tractor, which eased their farming activities as she and her husband are already senior citizens.
Meanwhile, Delfin llagas of Bantay, Ilocos Sur, shared that the free seeds helped them save on production expenses.
“I am very thankful to the RCEF Seed Program for distributing free seeds, especially now that everything is expensive. The seeds are of good quality because they are certified inbred seeds!” he said.
Roger Siruno, president of a farmers’ organization in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, claimed that the RCEF seeds increased their yield by up to 10%. He also observed that the certified inbred varieties are highly resistant to diseases.
Dr. Divina Gracia Apigo, municipal agriculturist of LGU Bacnotan, La Union reported that most farmer-beneficiaries in their municipality prefer the NSIC Rc 480 as it is more resistant to typhoons.
“Based on a report, all the other varieties have lodged after typhoon Maring in 2021, but NSIC Rc 480 remained standing,” she said.
The RCEF-Seed Program is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law, which allots P10 billion funds every year for the rice farmers from the rice tariff earnings of the country. The program is a six-year government initiative to help farmers compete in the international rice market. The local government units and lawmakers assist in its implementation.
DA-PhilRice leads the RCEF-Seed Program and is the government’s lead agency on rice research and development mandated to help ensure a rice-secure Philippines.