Philrice gives quality seeds to farmers

By Cet Dematera


THE Legazpi City Agriculture Office (CAO) has started recently the distribution of some 1,000 bags of ‘222’ certified palay seedlings to farmers registered in the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA) of the Department of Agriculture (DA), in time for their planting this coming wet months.


CAO chief Sheila Nas said the seedlings came from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) as part of DA’s Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund (RCEF) program intended to augment the need of farmers for quality palay seedlings.


Nas said the seedlings would be distributed to 810 farmer beneficiaries, adding that those farmers with at least a hectare rice field will receive two bags of seedlings each.


“We will again request PhilRice additional palay seeds to make sure that all the 2,677 rice farmers will benefit from the free palay seedlings to be planted in more than 1,400 hectares, as some 200 hectares have already been planted hybrid rice,” Nas pointed out.


She said that her office will be handing over the seedling bags to the farmers individually so that further interview with them could be conducted for uploading to the PhilRice website for documentation.


PhilRice is a DA-attached agency mandated to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough harvest.


RC 222 is a variety bred by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), which yields an average of 90 bags harvest per hectare.


“I am very grateful to PhilRice for selecting our farmers as recipients of these free palay seedlings that would reduce their expenses this planting season,” Nas added.


She pointed out that Mayor Noel E. Rosal has given the farmers free fertilizer as the counterpart of the city government.


Nas said DA also gave additional foliar fertilizer to the farmers.


Recently five farmer associations with an estimated 1,700 members received walk behind transplanters as part of the farm mechanization program under DA’s RCEF.