By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY — The Provincial government of Bohol launched its “Advanced Rice Technology” (ART) program, January 10 to respond to the national call to increase rice production and ensure food security in the country.
The province is also reaping rewards from massive planting of coconut and fast-growing tree species, with support from the Bohol Biodiversity Complex (BBC) in Bilar town, and the private sector led by Bluewater Panglao Hotel.
Bohol governor Arthur Yap presented the ART program at the sidelines of the technical training sessions of Bohol farmers at the PhilRice, Nueva Ecija from January 8-12 with the municipal Agriculture Officers of Talibon, Pilar, Ubay, and San Miguel, farmer technicians from Carmen, Jagna, Candijay, Alicia, Batuan, Dagohoy and Catigbia; Office of Provincial Agriculturist, Pilar RPC, National Irrigation Administration officials and more than 50 rice stakeholders of Bohol and some local media.
“The weakness of Bohol’s rice program lies not with our farmers but in its program management. Rice cannot be grown in small patches and divided amongst political subdivisions like municipalities. Rice grows well depending on water, land, seed and input management,” Yap said.
Yap added that when the technicians and the farmers are together managing the production in a systematic way, then there is a chance for inbred seed production to produce more than 120 cavans per hectare and more than 160 cavans per hectare for hybrid seeds.
Meanwhile, the Bohol-wide coconut planting program is in full swing, with the participation of individual farmers, landowners, tenants, cooperatives, etc.
The Philippine Coconut Authority said they have at least 114,658 coconut seedlings ready for planting by participants to the Participatory Coconut Planting Project.
Over at Panglao island in Bohol, Bluewater Panglao has prioritized its tree-planting activity with the cooperation of environment-friendly guests who gamely plant tree saplings in the hotel-resort’s compound in Sitio Daurong, Danao, Panglao island.
Guests, especially newlyweds who had their wedding receptions at Bluewater Panglao, were encouraged to plant trees, complete with their name-markers and dates of planting, to be cared for by hotel staff.
When they return to the site months after, the guests will be surprised how the trees that they planted had grown and became part of the landscape.
“This is our own small way of contributing to the nation’s efforts to care for the environment,” said a hotel staff supervisor at Bluewater Panglao.
Meanwhile, the Bohol Biodiversity Complex (BBC) in Bilar town is a 25-hectare ecotourism site with almost two hectares of rainforest and secondary forest.
Perfect for nature lovers, this project of the provincial government inculcates in the residents, especially the youth, the conscious caring for nature.
The staff teach visitors how to plant trees, ways of having these trees reach maturity, what endemic trees to plant, etc.
The biodiversity complex was envisioned as a self-sustaining environment project of the Bohol Environment Code of 1998, the staff in the complex said. (With additional report from DCC)