DA distributes P6.4-M worth of hybrid, inbred rice seeds to farmers
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has distributed P6.4 million worth of rice seeds to farmers across the country to assist with farm productivity and increase financial income, an official said on Thursday.
Through the National Rice Program (NRP), the distributed hybrid and inbred rice seeds will cover 582,780 hectares of farmland, said DA Assistant Secretary for Operations Arnel de Mesa through a statement posted on the agency’s website.
“NRP has already dispersed P5.32M-worth of hybrid seeds and PP1.11M-worth of certified seeds to eligible farmer-beneficiaries this year,” said De Mesa.
In Memorandum Order No 58 Series of 2021, former Agriculture Secretary William Dar explained that hybrid rice seeds have a higher yield than inbred rice, and the DA has since promoted hybrid rice among farmers.
To provide further assistance to farmers, De Mesa said that through the Fertilizer Discount Voucher program, farmers can avail up to P2,262 worth of fertilizer vouchers per hectare planted with hybrid seeds, and P1,131 per hectare planted with inbred rice.
“Based on our monitoring, 8,151 vouchers amounting to P12.7M have already been claimed, which covers 8,540 ha of rice land. We have already instructed our Regional Field Offices to fast track and expedite the voucher generation and distribution, in line with the directives of our President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. that we (DA) will focus on increasing production,” De Mesa said.
In the same statement, De Mesa said the NRP has also been promoting the use of Nitrogen-fixing bio-fertilizer, which has a higher yield while reducing fertilizer use by 25 to 50%. According to him, the DA has distributed 200 packets of biofertilizer in Central Luzon, with 165,972 packets to be handed out in the Ilocos Region.
“We will be establishing demonstration areas in selected regions to showcase the technology, and we have allotted P33M in funds for this,” said De Mesa.
The NRP was a flagship program of the late former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, with the goal of creating government agricultural initiatives and interventions to ensure food security.
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