The Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology (PhilSCAT) through the years has been one of the working arms of the Department of Agriculture (DA) towards its goal on rice self-sufficiency which actively pushes hybrid rice seeds in Eastern Visayas along with the other government and private rice seed companies during the 5th National Rice Technology Forum held in Basey, Samar on September 20 to 22, 2017.
The Rice Productivity Advocacy Inc. (Rice Board) comprised of both public and private rice stakeholders in collaboration with the DA Eastern Visayas Regional Office 8 (DA RFO-8) hosted the 5th National Rice Technology Forum in Samar, where hybrid rice was presented as a key to increasing the yield and productivity of rice farmers.
The three-day event showcases hybrid rice seeds and related agricultural products and machines coupled with series of discussions on hybrid rice from the technology experts, hybrid rice seed growers representatives, the rice board, officials from DA, and around 2,500 rice farmers coming from various places both near and from afar..
With the theme Increase Production through Hybrid Rice Technology, the event featured a 12.6-hectares demo farm located in Sitio Manilaay, Barangay Old San Agustin showcasing the different hybrid rice seeds from the nine different rice seed producers.
Among these participating seed companies and government agencies were: SL Agritech, Bayer Crop Science, Seedworks, Syngenta Philippines, Dupont Pioneer and Longping Tropical Rice Development. Government institutions such as the Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology (PhilSCAT), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and System of Rice Intensification (SRI).
During the rice derby, farmers were able to personally assess the differences in the yield from seeds offered by various companies, as well as interact with technicians and seed company representatives and exchange ideas.
The gathering also highlighted the technical forum featuring some practical tips and techniques on hybrid rice technology as expounded by Dr. Ruben Miranda of PhilRice as well as the programs and directions of the DA RFO 8 shared by Dr. Andrew Rodolfo T. Orais, DA RFO-8 OIC ARD for Operations.
Moreover, an open forum was held for farmers including the farmer-cooperators involved in the activity where they raise their issues and other clarifications addressed to the representatives of seed companies and institutions.
In his message, DA RFO 8’s OIC Regional Executive Director, U-Nichols A. Manalo imparted the DA assistances that the farmers can avail to intensify rice production and boost yield as well as the income.
“The commitment of DA and Rice Board to promote hybrid rice technology in the region will continue,” he quipped. As such, he announced that for the next cropping season, an additional 5,000 hectares are being targeted as expansion areas for rice hybridization within Region 8.
Meantime, Mr. Recher Ondap, Rice Board president urged the Visayan farmers to accept and adopt the technologies offered to them and personally see for themselves how their lives can change. PPBernal