Banna, Ilocos Norte —  Rice farmers here under the Rice Business Innovations System (RiceBIS) Program of Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) are set to receive free certified inbred seeds and access to advanced farming technologies from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

The RCEF Seed Program, in collaboration with the RiceBIS program, will establish a 6-hectare technology demonstration site in the upcoming 2024 dry season, showcasing RCEF inbred varieties and machinery such as transplanters, direct seeding machines, and combine harvesters.

Cresencio Tomas, manager of Zanjera Sto. Niño Agriculture Cooperative, said that the initial introduction of innovative farming technologies through RiceBIS has led to a substantial increase in their average yield from 3t/ha to 4.2t/ha.

“With the integration of more advanced farming technologies, including machinery and high-quality inbred seeds suited in our fields, we anticipate significant growth in our yields in the upcoming planting seasons,” Tomas added.

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. A six-year government initiative to help farmers compete in the international rice market, the local government units and lawmakers 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