Over 14,000 rice farmers in C. Visayas receive free rice seeds

Published June 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


By Minerva Newman

CEBU CITY – A total of 14,051 rice farmers from Bohol and Negros Oriental have received free inbred rice seeds through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)-Seed Component of the Department of Agriculture-PhilRice (DA-PhilRice) that aims to increase the adoption and use of certified inbred seeds to achieve an average rice yield of 5-6 metric tons (MT) per hectare.

According to DA-PhilRice Central Visayas (CV) coordinator Rojen Austria, inbred rice seeds have been distributed to rice farmers in Bohol and Negros Oriental, which are RCEF covered areas.

A bag of inbred seeds contains 20 kilograms of recommended inbred rice varieties such as NSIC Rc216, 222 PSB Rc18, Austria said.

The Central Visayas region has a total inbred rice seed allocation of 51,910 bags of which 19,176 bags have already been delivered in the two provinces as of June 11. These seeds can cover a total estimated rice area of 9,098 hectares.

Of the total seed allocation, PhilRice has delivered 11,918 bags with 11,083 bags already distributed to 18 local government units (LGUs) of Bohol that benefited some 7,602 farmer-beneficiaries. For Negros Oriental, some 7,258 bags were delivered with 7,113 bags distributed to 14 LGUs benefitting 6,449 rice farmer-beneficiaries.

“These figures are still partial as delivery and distribution are still ongoing. May and June deliveries are slow because of some minor issues such as some farmers have not yet started the land preparation as their rice fields are rainfed; limited storage capacity in the LGU level, and the observance of social distancing in this time of pandemic,” Austria said.

According to Lelanie Malacapay, Municipal Agriculturist of Mabinay, Negros Oriental, LGUs and farmer-beneficiaries thanked the DA and PhilRice for their support for the farmers. “The provision of inbred seeds is a big help to them,” she said.

RCEF is created under Republic Act 11203, the Rice Trade Liberalization Law, to help farmers improve their competitiveness and income amidst the trade liberalization.