Aimed to extend the technical know-how on using the mechanical rice transplanter to the farmer-participants and enhance their technical capability on seedling preparation using the double-mulching technique (DMT), a total of 25 farmers from Pulilan, Bulacan successfully undergone a training on the operation of the rice mechanical transplanter using DMT on January 3, 2017.
DMT is an alternative method of seedling preparation which can intensify the adoption of the mechanical rice transplanting technology because it uses low-cost materials which are available in the local market.
The said training was requested by DOST Regional Director, Julius Ceasar V. Sicat, who is inspired and determined to introduce the modern farming system to Bulacan farmers from barangay Inoan, Tabon, Tinejero, Lumbac and Peñabatan, all from Pulilan and increase their yield and income, as well.
In his message, Sicat said, “the technology that we are going to offer to you is proven and tested; 100% guaranteed that your hope of tons of yield will be attained.”
“This training will guide you in the proper use of the mechanical rice transplanter and the proper seedling preparation. These technologies were already proven and must be promoted to farmers like you who want to adapt the latest farming system,” said PhilSCAT Director Emmanuel V. Sicat in his message.
Moreover, Maritz Ochoa-Montejo, municipal mayor of Pulilan also gave a message to the farmer-participants of the training and challenged them to be receptive in embracing new technologies and innovations and support the Department of Agriculture’s mechanization program.
“Let us open our minds to innovate our farming system here in Pulilan, Bulacan. Mechanization is really a great help for us to increase our yield and increase our income. Let us embrace the program of the department of agriculture particularly on mechanization and use of hybrid rice seeds,” she said.
The said training is in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region III and the local government unit of Pulilan, Bulacan.
Aldo C. Valdez, science research specialist of the agricultural engineering and mechanization unit of PhilSCAT, carried out the lecture sessions of the double-mulching technique and spearheaded hands-on activities last December 16, 2016 together with Jonathan Mallare and Teodoro Audencial, PhilSCAT laborers.
The participants also engaged on the actual seedling preparation. They constructed a six (6) 1.5-meter wide and 9-meter long seedbed for a 12,500 square meter farm. Unlike the conventional ‘dapog’ style, they cover the seedbeds with holed plastic mulches. Angle bar frames were used to secure both sides of the seedbed.
On top of the plactic mulch, pulverized garden soil were spread with one inch thickness before sowing the 6.6 kilos of pre-germinated LP 937 hybrid rice seeds.
Crop care and water management were also discussed to the farmer-participants by Reymark A. Fulgencio, science research assistant of the hybrid rice technology unit of PhilSCAT.
The demonstration of the mechanical rice transplanting operation was held on January 3, 2017 with seedlings aging at 18 days old, the ideal age of the seedlings for transplanting.
Present during the training demonstration are Provincial S&T Director of Bulacan, Angelita Q. Parungao; DOST-3 Regional Director, Julius Ceasar V. Sicat; OIC-Municipal Agriculturist of Pulilan, Juliet Francisco; and PhilSCAT Technology Product and Development Division chief Carlos Abon, Jr.
During the transplanter operation, the farmer-participants actually engaged in the proper cutting of seedlings ensuring its right measurements.
Valdez also explained to the participants the proper operation and maintenance of the mechanical rice transplanter and its basic troubleshooting.