New ties inked for the AxR hybrid rice seed production

PhilSCAT is widening its reach for the promotion of hybrid rice seed production through collaborations with the Prasad Seeds Philippines, Inc. (PSPI), government agencies from Regions 1 and 3 and its local government units.

PSPI, a global seed company based in India with specialization on postharvest processing and handling of seeds from drying to packaging, has added hybrid rice seed production to its interests and tapped PhilSCAT to lead the On-site Season Long Training (OSSLT) on AxR Hybrid Rice Seed Production which will enable them to become potential hybrid rice seed producers/growers.

The technical briefing and MOA signing was held on May 17, 2016 in Pangasinan. The said training which is composed of 17-day sessions will be covered from July 7, 2016 until November 23, 2016.

PhilSCAT together with BPI-NSQCS Regions 1 and 3; DA-RFO in Regions 1 and 3; Agricultural Training Institute in Region 1 and Local Government Units in Pangasinan lead the OSSLT in an opening ceremony held on July 7, 2016 in Rosales in which 33 participants registered for the said training.

Present in the event were DA-RFO 1 Director Dr. Valentino Perdido; Engr. Crispulo Bautista in behalf of DA-RFO 3 Director Andrew Villacorta; Jeimelie Constantino from ATI Region 1; Roberto Espanto Rosales municipal agriculturist; Arnel Ramil Apaga, PhilSCAT assistant director and KMD chief; PhilSCAT Directors Emmanuel V. Sicat and Cheng Liangji aside from the participants and guests from Region 1 and Region 3, LGU staff of Rosales and other participating agencies.

Exequiel Magsaysay, PSPI’s corporate secretary welcomed the guests and participants where he said in his message that he is in support of the Department of Agriculture’s goal of bringing the technology to the farmers and he wishes the participants more learnings and profit after the training.

Meanwhile, Dr. Valentino Perdido, DA-RFO 1 regional executive director shows his appreciation in his message with the training collaboration for it mirrors the national goal of rice self-sufficiency.

According to Perdido, Pangasinan tops the whole region in terms of hybrid rice with more than 70,000 hectares planted in wet season cropping.

Moreover, the regional director encouraged the participants to go into hybrid rice for he sees higher potential in terms of yield over inbred rice proven on its regional performance when it comes to its rice sufficiency level with 178% despite calamities in 2015.

Dr. William Dar, former DA secretary and now the global strategic consultant of PSPI thanked the collaborators of the OSSLT and gave a brief profile on PSPI and how it decided to invest on hybrid rice seed production.

“We know pretty well that the productivity of rice in our country is such in a stage where you really can double if not triple using the right interventions, the right technologies and the right support systems necessary to make it possible and we have started the research as early as late 90’s but you have seen the last 18 years how hybrid seed program was mentored by various leaderships. This administration with their pronouncements of having to have rice self-sufficiency they have now identified that technology and innovations is the key to bring about this level of rice self-sufficiency and that is the use of hybrid rice seeds,” Dar said.

According to the former secretary, they were really anticipating this move by the government and tapping PhilSCAT to do the training and technical assistance will make this venture turn into reality.

PRASAD is targeting to produce 120 hectares of hybrid rice seeds the next dry season cropping as a starting point.

The Indian seed company have been partnering with other multi-national seed companies all over the world such as Syngenta, Monsanto, Pioneer, BioSeed, etc before it decided to bring their state of the art postharvest processing technologies in the Philippines in 2014 located at Rosales, Pangasinan.  PPBernal

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BPMPC members train on mechanical rice crop establishment

Aimed to develop, enhance and equip the technical capability of the members of the Bagumbayan Primary Multi-purpose Cooperative (BPMPC) in using the mechanical rice transplanter, 21 farmer-members of the said cooperative had successfully undergone a training on mechanical rice transplanting using double-mulching technique (DMT), at Bagumbayan, Llanera, Nueva Ecija on June 8, 2016.

DMT is an alternative method of seedling preparation using locally available low-cost materials which can intensify the adoption of the mechanized rice transplanting technology.

“PhilSCAT granted us a complete package of machine for an Integrated Rice Processing and Production Center, mechanical rice transplanter (riding type) is included, we also acquired another mechanical rice transplanter (walk behind) from the Department of Agriculture… we want to show to our members how to use the machine and how to prepare the seedlings using the DMT, because they are not yet knowledgeable on these technologies.” Nolito Vergara, BPMPC chairman said.

Engr. Aldo C. Valdez of the Agricultural Engineering and Mechanization Unit (AEMU) of PhilSCAT served as the resource speaker for the said training which was composed of lecture-discussion and hands-on exercises right at the field.

“The seedling preparation for the DMT is not particularly hard. It is just like any ordinary seedling preparation, with the only difference of using plastics to help the soil hold the roots of the seedlings,” Vergara added.

According to research, DMT improves soil moisture condition, soil temperature and soil fertility. It also reduces soil compaction and erosion, and prevents weed growth.

Meanwhile, Valdez emphasized that the performance of the mechanical rice transplanter depends on the seedling preparation.

Moreover, seedling preparation using DMT is not only a technically viable alternative but also a more economical partner technology with the mechanical rice transplanter.

The actual demonstration of the machine was done on the 17th-day-old seedlings on June 25, 2016.

Hundreds of farmer-members of the BPMPC witnessed the efficiency of the transplanting machine.

The BPMPC is planning to provide transplanting services to their farmer-members as part of the business venture of the cooperative but for now the chairman said he is willing to rent the transplanter to interested members and farmers for free. RRCarbonel

Nueva Ecija farmer beats his all-time yield record for hybrid rice with M38

Once again, Mestiso 38 (M38) proved that it is one of the superior breeds of hybrid rice produced and commercialized by PhilSCAT recording a yield of 8.1 tons per hectare or 162 cavans in Licab, Nueva Ecija this dry season cropping.

Domingo Parungao, 59, farmer from Poblacion Sur, Licab, Nueva Ecija said that his high yield is attributed to his farm management practices for hybrid rice.

The recently concluded season has a huge infestation of stemborer and brown leaf hopper that caused lower yield  which according to Parungao, Licab’s rice farmers yield for this season only ranged from 60-120 cavans for the inbred and 60 – 150 cavans for the hybrid which is lower compared to the 162 cavans of M38 he yielded.

In his 11-hectare rice field, Parungao allotted 4 hectares for M38 seeds and the rest of the seven hectares planted with PHB 79 which was heavily affected with stem borer and only yielded 150 cavans per hectare, 12 cavans shorter than M38’s wield.

M38 or NSIC Rc262H is a PhilSCAT bred hybrid rice variety released in 2011 by the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) with a potential yield of 6.4 to 12 tons per hectare. It has recorded a 114 days maturity with moderate resistance to pests and diseases such as Bacterial Leaf Blight (BLB).

According to Jomer Tabing, 33, Parungao’s farm laborer for three years now, they applied basal fertilizer a week before seed sowing and immediately sprayed pre-emergence herbicide when they saw the first shoot (leaf) coming from the seeds.

“After 18 days from seed sowing, we started the transplanting however, it took us three (3) days than the usual to finish it since the area is quite big,” said Tabing.

Parungao and Tabing both agreed on the high performance of M38 compared to other varieties being planted in their area during the season and according to them, M38 was the least infected variety in terms of pests like stem borer and brown leaf hopper.

“From now on, rather than trying other varieties, I’ll just stick to M38 since it’s my new favorite variety and its performance is already tried and tested,” said Tabing.

Even other farmers from Baguio and Isabela who came and saw the performance of the variety would asked Parungao where to buy the seeds and its eating quality.

From the total 32 tons M38 which Parungao harvested last April 2016, he milled 50 cavans and produced 29 cavans milled rice.

The 59-year old farmer said that he is a certified M38 hybrid rice user and recommends M38 to his fellow farmers not only for its high yielding performance but also with its good eating quality comparable to other expensive aromatic rice in the market. JMRarama

PhilSCAT affirms another 47 potential seed growers in Mindanao

PhilSCAT

The Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology (PhilSCAT) affirmed another group of potential seed growers in Mindanao through its On-Site Season-long Training (OSSLT) Course on Hybrid Rice Seed Production and Certification during the closing and graduation ceremony held on May 13, 2016 in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental.

The 47 graduates from the said training was composed of 36 seed growers from of the Davao Oriental Seed Producers Cooperative (DOSEPCO) which recently signified interest to undergo a Memorandum of Agreement with PhilSCAT in producing and commercializing NSIC Rc262H or Mestiso 38, one (1) participant form the Local Government Unit of Banaybanay and 10 from the Provincial Agriculture Office of Davao Oriental (PAGRI).

Balbino A. Alingalan, DOSEPCO chairman; Cheng Liangji, PhilSCAT co-director; Arnel Ramir M. Apaga, PhilSCAT assistant director; Ester M. Solamo, Banaybanay municipal agriculture officer; Rotchie M. Ravelo, Davao Oriental provincial agriculturist; Eufemia C. Laud, center chief of BPI-NSQCS 11; and Agapito Regulacion, regional…

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NOT JUST YOUR TYPICAL FARMER

Melecio P. Reguindin Jr, 45, of Ramos Tarlac, is not your typical farmer. He became an ultimate pride of his community after winning the National Gawad Saka for Outstanding Local Farmer Technician for two consecutive years in 2015 in Cebu City and just this April 2016 in Resorts World, Manila.

TRUE CALLING

He never thought even once that being a full-time farmer is his true “calling”. He supposed that farming is his very last option for he knew he can do better in the academe than plowing the field.

Reguindin finished a vocational course in Information Technology in Tarlac. For eight years, he worked as an instructor at the United School of Science and Technology before he became as one of the incorporators of the Tarlac City Colleges.

In 2009, her father died leaving him and his 9 siblings a four-hectare farm land to till. He resigned from work and decided to manage their farm instead.

Before, he was persistent to try other options aside from farming, Mel as he is fondly called put up a small computer shop while conducting trainings for Alternative Learning System by DepEd and occasionally tapped as resource speakers by TESDA for its spearheaded short courses on computer repairs.

Hesitant at first, he began attending trainings on farming by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and later on became an active partner of DA and LGU Tarlac in promoting and disseminating rice farming technologies widely known as Local Farmer Technician (LFT).

Although he grew up in a farm and farming is the only living they rely on, he was one of the few who do not stick to conventional farming.

“Even when I was young, I am already exposed to farming because it was my father’s job, but only now did I discover that if only I had put my concentration in this field before, it would be more than okay if you would ask me. Managing the farm for me is an attainment, you can enjoy your work while earning. I believe that the money is in our farms, now that we have a technology called diversified farming system giving us a lot of options to choose as compared to the sector where I came from which is only limited,” Mel shared.

His persistence and willingness to learn is remarkable which made him one of the recipients of Palayamanan Project by the Department of Agriculture co-implemented by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in Tarlac.

Palayamanan is a farming system that encourages farmers to diversify their farming ventures based on their capabilities and resources. The approach aims to maximize land use and combat malnutrition and poverty in the community.

Mel allotted 1.5 ha farm into a technology demonstration site which he now utilizes in planting different vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, eggplant, siling panigang, pechay and malunggay. He also allotted a portion of land for livestock and a small area for his tilapia production. His farm now serves as agricultural show-window where farmers and agricultural extensionists from the different LGU in Tarlac conduct its exploratory tours.

“Maganda po kasi kung diversified ang pamamaraan ng pagsasaka, marami pong pagkukunan ng income, kaya pag dating ng mga bagyo, marami kang options ng pagkukunan ng kita (It is good if the farming method you use is diversified, your sources of income is limitless, when typhoon strikes, you have plenty of options from your source of income),” he said.

BLESSING IN DISGUISE

In 2015, Mel won 2nd place in the Palayamanan project initiated by the Department of Agriculture. Along with the accolade, he was given a Php 50,000 worth of materials for the training center he was planning to establish.

He said his objective is to build a centralized training center for practical agriculture for the whole community of Ramos, Tarlac which will cater all the knowledge that he learned in Palaycheck, Palayamanan and Repair and Maintenance of Small Farm Engines.

Mel considered the training on Repair and Maintenance of Small Farm Engine a blessing in disguise for he already planned the programs that he will be integrating for the training center.

Together with the DA-LGU of Ramos, Tarlac, Mel was one of the LFTs chosen in Region 3 to attend a 6-day training on Repair and Maintenance of Small Farm Engine held last November 2015 at PhilSCAT.

“When I found out that PhilSCAT is conducting a training on small farm engine repair, I already knew that this is one of the courses that I will integrate for the learning center, because for sure if a  farmer has a water system, there is also a water pump and it is indeed very timely learning,” Mel recounted.

He said that at first, he was uncertain if he can finish the training for he didn’t know anything at all about engines.

“When I took the pre-test and saw the questions, I said to myself, it’s not my line of work; but I really did persevere; after the training it so happened I got my exam and almost perfected it, maybe that is why they chose me as Most Improved and Most Active Participant during the training,” he recalled.

Mel said that this training is very efficient for farmers like him, for they will not worry anymore should the unit accidentally bogged down in the midst of work for they themselves can identify the problem and fix it firsthand.

KNOWLEDGE SPREADS

Being the chairman of the Golden Pance Multi-purpose Cooperative and being a proactive LFT in their community, Mel helps his fellow farmers and the whole community by teaching them the knowledge that he acquired through the trainings he attended. He has a soft spot for his fellow farmers which made him more aggressive and eager to uplift their quality of lives.

He allots a day in a week to teach his members on Repair and Maintenance of Small farm engine by echoing the things he learned from PhilSCAT.

Mel uses an old gasoline engine water pump which he borrowed from his brother for demonstration purposes. He even uses his old hand-outs from the training and shoulder the production cost of the print materials for his co-farmers.

According to Mel, his SFE farmer-participants alone is close to 1,000, and soon as the training center materializes, he will be able to accommodate other willing farmers in the entire community of Ramos.

This is also what keeps him going, “through voluntary knowledge sharing I can somehow uplift their lives and also I believe in the saying teach man to fish instead of giving him a fish, whereas if you only give them what they need, there is a tendency that they might ask for it again when it’s gone.”

“Talaga pong masipag siya, matiyaga po syang nagtuturo sa amin kung ano ung mga parts ng makina, dati po wala akong kaalam alam sa makina, nagtatanong pa kami sa ibang mekaniko, ngayon po kayang kaya ko na (He is really diligent and persistent to teach us the different parts of the engine, before I don’t have any knowledge on engine repairs and ask other mechanics instead, now I can do it by myself,” Erwin P. Reguindin, 28, one of his brother and assistant recounted.

Because the award he received from the Palayamanan project is only for the materials of the center, Mel and his brother shouldered the labor and other expenses of the construction from their own pockets and hope to finish it by the end of the rainy season this year.

He said that he has continuous support to his co-farmers even after training. “My support to my co-farmers is continuous, I cannot let them down until their farm income is not yet sustainable, and that is my main objective.”

GOOD SEED, REAPS THE SWEETEST

Mel said that agriculture should not be taken for granted, because most young people nowadays have a hard time considering agriculture as a possible career.

He pointed out that one cannot shift himself and excel in a certain career if he doesn’t possess the passion for it.

“It really depends on one’s advocacy, if he is more than willing to learn it is not a problem to lead someone to go into agriculture, only if they are well guided. A child should be exposed to agriculture while they are still young, and most importantly, the values has to be instilled to them. When you sow good seed in a child, it will definitely reap sweet and carry it until they grow,” Mel said.

He said he will not get fulfilling his a mission. His optimism is remarkably inspiring for not every day that we see a devoter farmer like Mel.

“If you have a mission to fulfill, it seems like you are always strong, you are always inspired, you should not think of failing, that is my mindset every time,” Mel wrapped up. Patricia P. Bernal

Success in Synergy

DSC_0950_web
Dir. Apaga on demonstrating different parts of the engine.

Synergy: noun | syn·er·gy |ˈsi-nər-jē\.  The increased effectiveness that results when two or more people or businesses work together.

This meaning depicts the success of partnership between the Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology (PhilSCAT), the Super Trade Machinery Global, Incorporated the Technical Educations and the Skills Development Authority-Nueva Ecija (TESDA-NE) that brought a beacon of hope in ensuring the sustainability of the mechanization program of the government while providing better opportunities for rural labor that may be displaced by mechanization.

The success indicators of the collaboration are the four batches of combined collaboration training course conducted on repair and maintenance of small farm engines and motorcycle that produced 89 new breed of TESDA certified farmer-mechanics from different areas in northern, central and southern Luzon.

In the said partnership training, the TESDA training regulation for small farm engines and motorcycle was modified used as basis with some modification. The enhancements made utilized the training module of Super Trade.

The training comprises 10 percent of lecture and 90 percent hands-on activities or engine troubleshooting using small farm engines that includes gasoline engine, air-cooled and water-cooled diesel engine.

On other hand, Super Trade volunteered and provided technical expertise and training materials such as tools, engines and other training equipment.

Engr. Joel R. Panagsagan, vice president-marketing and external relations of Super Trade Enterprises and concurrently the executive vice president of the Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers and Distributors’ Association (AMMDA) shared, “Even before, we are doing that kind of training already. That’s not new to us. We are doing that training in public and private sector in an invitation basis and we see to it that we impart the principles applicable in all brands whether local or imported.”

“PhilSCAT initiated is one of the most organized training that we had, because you have your own criteria who should be attending, you provided a very nice atmosphere –venue, that’s why your training module can be patterned and used by both public and private sectors who are willing to undergo this kind of training program”, he added.

Moreover, Engr. Panagsagan admitted that this training used to be one of their strategies to showcase and promote their products later on, but it became their advocacy hoping that all the trainee-graduates they had taught would eventually get jobs either from Super Trade or from other members of AMMDA for he believes that there is a shortage of skilled technicians and mechanic in our country.

The participating farmer-mechanics were received eligibility on Motorcycle/Small Engine Servicing National Certificate (NC) II from TESDA-NE, and ever ready to serve the individual farmers and cooperatives whenever engine shut down happens in their field.

During the post-training assessment and follow-up visit with the graduates, most of them who encountered farm engine shutdown during on-farm machine operations have already repaired those machines especially the hand tractors by themselves.

Evidently, they are now well versed in failure analysis and engine repair just like Victor Hipolito of Sto. Tomas, San Jose City who he is now getting more repair jobs for farm engines.

Majority of the graduates are considering the opportunity of becoming a “barrio mechanic” in their respective areas.

Engr. Panagsagan said that once they certified the graduates, they are considered the pride of their own community, because he believed that everybody is a potential contributor to society.

“We are very proud about the training that we had. It helps us, they see us that we are not only after the pesos and centavos, we are not only thinking profit; there is more to just selling and that is to develop people’s skills. It is very rewarding in our part,” he happily added.

The said training is envisioned to train and develop pool of farmer technicians which will cater small engine repair service for themselves and nearby farmers, according to PhilSCAT Assistant Director, Arnel Ramir M. Apaga.

Eventually, this project will create employment or provide other source of income of those farmers or individuals who will be trained and become experts in the field of engine repair services.

Asked if where the idea came from, Dir. Apaga said that based on his personal experience being a part-time farmer, in the events of his engine (hand tractor and water pump) shutdown –which occasionally bogs down while in operation, he find problems in the availability of repair center in town, which are not very scarce.

And if ever available, some of the repair shops’ technician are usually not well trained and just acquired their skills from experience and the so-called “patsamba-tsamba” skills thus most often than that, the engines bogged down again.

The director sees the scenario as very critical, as he said, “In the farm operation, farm engines is very critical because these are the prime mover on the basic farm operations and processing equipment used most often in land preparation, irrigation, threshing, drying and rice milling.”

In fact, about 950,000 units of engines is being used in farming particularly in the rice farmer sector and less than 50 percent of engine suppliers can provide after-sales services.

“It really affects the timeliness of the operation if there is no immediate after-sales service. Trouble shooting of small engines can be done by farmers themselves only if they are knowledgeable and trained, that’s why we taught of improving accessibility of after-sales service right in the farm”, he added.

This personal encounter and realization is not only particular to the shoes of Dir. Apaga because more than 50 percent of our farmers own small farm engines and rest are owned by the cooperatives

Based on the Rice Mechanization Program of the Department of Agriculture, it will be distributing several units of agricultural machineries for the farmers and farmer-cooperatives, such as irrigation pumps, hand tractors, and threshers until this year 2016.

Thus, establishment of a core of repair service shops or technicians that will provide trouble shooting services to small engine owners/farmers right in the farm is aptly needed.

Linking with the leading distributor of agricultural machineries in the Philippines –Super Trade and the first International Standards Organization (ISO) certified education agency –TESDA have been both rewarding and challenging and indeed proves the truce, there in success in synergy.

Indeed, this partnership only proved that teamwork spells S-U-C-C-E-S-S; hence capitalizing on good relationship and common goals has proved to be a winning tactic in order to facilitate and eventually attain mutual development objectives. Ramil R. Carbonel

‘Barrio’ mechanic on call

DSC_0023_webJust like people, things also needed to be taken care of more so if it aids as in the performance of job that sustain us. In our generation that requires greater efficiency in work, delays cannot be tolerated most of the time. Same goes to our farm where we need to schedule our activities due to several critical factors.

Usually, farmers encounter problems with their engines, and it is a hassle when in the middle of farm operation at the field, the machine suddenly stopped due with some problems you can’t identify. Calling for someone who has a proper knowledge about engines is somehow problematic when you don’t even know who to call. But worry no more, since PhilSCAT has already embarked on training farmer technicians who can actually help you. They are your small farm engines (SFE) doctors on call.

Small Farm Engines

Based on history, John Froelich from the United States of America invented the first gas powered tractor. The machine that he first invented was a steamed-power thresher but was basically costly and considered dangerous since it could be easily set on fire just by a spark of the boiler thus he decided to improve it.

As a result of his further experimentation, he developed a new design that can be driven safely at 3 mph with one cylinder gasoline engine onto the thresher steam engine’s running gear. Because of this success, he decided to expand in order to create the Waterloo Gasoline Tractor Engine Company in 1849 with four prototype tractors that brought a new concept to the agricultural sector of America that significantly affected the other country’s agriculture.

This invention saved the farmers a lot of time and money in comparison to the conventional farming method. At first years after the invention and after it was commercialized, the price dropped to half that made it more affordable for the farmers.

Nowadays, tractor are commonly used during the land preparation accross cropping season. Farmers are now using these machines aiding them to be more productive and makes their work a lot easier.

Training on Repair and Maintenance of SFE

PhilSCAT, with its aim to help the government’s Rice Mechanization Program, saw the needs of the farmers to learn more about machines and how to deal with it.

Here in the Philippines, hand tractors and water pumps are commonly used in farms for cultivation process. But there are times that these engines shut down and the farmers are not knowledgeable on how to properly prepare and maintain it causing them trouble and delays to some extent.

To address this problem, PhilSCAT together with the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 4B (DA-RFO 4B), DA-RFO 3, DA-RFO 2 Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-NE (TESDA-NE), and Super Trade Machinery Global, Inc  held series of seminars entitled Training on Repair and Maintenance of Small Farm Engines. This is ca 6-day seminar held in three batches and participated by farmers from different regions.

Today, this event already produced hundreds of farmer technicians who holds a National Certificate II (NC II) after having passed the assessment of TESDA held on the 6th day of the training.

Mechanic on Call

Farmers need not to worry any more. The engine’s doctor is now just a call away. Since it is somehow tedious to take an engine from your field when it shut down, a farmer technician can surely address the problem and come to the field to check on the engine. In this way, time and effort is saved and farmers can readily resume the activity.

“Usually, my customers just call me thru cellular phone. They just tell me that they needed me in their house to repair a machine, but most of the times, they call me to go direct to their farm since their machine suddenly stopped during the operation,” said Victor Hipolito, 52, from Sto. Thomas, San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.

Mr. Hipolito started in the business of repairing engines year 2000. His customers are usually from the nearby barangay. He admitted that he was not well knowledgeable about engines during those time. But after he graduated from the Training on Repair and Maintenance of Small Farm engines way back July 2014, he became confident in repairing different kinds of machines.

As a result, his income increased. The National Certificate II (NC II) added to his credibility and make him legitimately knowledgeable in engine repair. One of the biggest learning he learned from thhe training was being able to learn how to repair the water cooled and air cooled engines which he was not even aware of the great difference in functions and in mechanics.

“The income brought about by the SFE is good, I got 700 pesos for engine overhauled, and 300 pesos for troubleshooting”, he said when asked about his income.

Hipolito is not just a machine technician, but also a farmer, and a tricycle driver. He plant rice in a 4,000 sqm and transport people using his tricycle. This two occupation serves as an extra source of income whenever he is available. This is also his way of using his spare time productively.

He has four children whom he was able to send to school and one of them is now a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education. While his eldest son is now helping him in the repair and maintenance of SFE. He taught him everything that he learned from the training and from the experiences that he had in his years of doing this kind of work.

“My customers are the ones who recommend me to the other farmers that they know. They will give them my number and they just contact me through phones. I don’t need to do my own advertisement,” he said when asked on how people knew about his services.

He usually encounters problem during the repair of the old models engine since the spare parts were no longer available in the market and are on by-order-basis. The nozzle, plunger and piston ring are the parts that needed to be replaced most of the times.

On the other hand, he also accepts motorcycle repair which was also included in his SFERM training. But according to him, motorcycle repair is quite more complicated since it involves electricity.

Continues dissemination of knowledge about SFE is a good avenue in order to improve not just the crop production in the country but also it helps n improving the lives of the farmer technicians. This is one way of giving the Filipino farmers an opportunity to learn and earn at the same time. Jessa M. Rarama

Two top performing CHRLs wows Ilocos Norte farmers

The two top performing Chinese Hybrid Rice Lines (CHRLs) – LP 937 and LP 952, amazed the farmers and participants of the recently conducted Farmer’s Field Day for the Techno-Demo of the Chinese Hybrid Rice Lines held on February 23, 2016 located in Brgy. Alejo Malasig, Vintar, Ilocos Norte.

Based on the actual yield results presented by Melda A. Quilala, agricultural technologist of Brgy. Vintar and, LP 937 tops the techno-demo with a total yield of 10.83 tons per hectare (216 cavans per 50kg) while LP 952 is close behind with 10.05 tons per hectare (208 canvans per 50kg).

“I prefer the LP 937 over LP 952 because its seeds is much bigger, the panicles are longer and we can see a very good crop stand,” said Milenio Macaraeg, 64, farmer of Brgy. 7, Vintar, Ilocos Norte

Carlos C. Abon, Jr., TPDD head of PhilSCAT was pleased about the result of the techno-demo and said, “although LP937 tops the techno-demo, still they both resulted 10 tons on their average yield and it is a good thing we can even join the ‘Palayabangan: 10/5 Challenge’ of the Department of Agriculture” .

The ‘Palayabangan: 10/5 Challenge’ is a national search for the best practices that can produce a harvest of 10 tons yield (or 200 cavans) per hectare at P5 a kilo. A project to boost agricultural productivity and curb rice smuggling in the Philippines.

In his message, Abon promoted the advantages of using hybrid rice over inbred rice and how it will help the country achieve food sufficiency.

Also present in the event are Ms. Lolita Raposas, senior agriculturist of Vintar; Hon. Jay R. Agcaoili, farmer cooperator; Hon. Claudio C. Agcaoili, chairman of Vintar; Norma C. Lagmay; provincial agriculturist; Edwin Cariño, Special Project chief; Mr. Cheng Liangji, PhilSCAT co-director; Mr. York Yi, Longping HighTech general manager (PROC); Hon. Zhao Qiaoliang, Chinese Embassy consul and head of post in Laoag City.

PhilSCAT gave away 20 kilos each of LP 937 and LP 952 and another 27 kilos of M38 hybrid rice seeds to the farmers of Vintar and its neighboring communities as a token for their participation to the said event.

Meanwhile, Mr. Zhao continue to nurturess the friendship of the two countries-China and the Philippines and even bought 5 tons of LP 331 hybrid rice seeds at Longping HighTech to be given away to the farmers of Ilocos Norte this April 2016. PPBernal

AxR Training: To upsurge, strengthen seed growers in Mindanao

To further empower the Mindanao farmers who are gaining popularity on caliber hybrid rice seed producers, an On-Site Season Long Training (OSSLT) Courses on hybrid rice seed production and certification is pursued by the Davao Oriental Seed Producers Cooperative (DOSEPCO) and PhilSCAT.

An opening ceremony was held last January 13, 2016 at the DOSEPCO conference hall in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental. Forty eight (48) farmer-participants registered for this four-month training course with only 17 half-day sessions until May 12, 2016.

Balbino A. Alingalan, chairman of DOSEPCO welcomed the guests and participants and encouraged all the participants to do their best and to actively complete the training to further widen their knowledge-skills and positively shaped their attitude in producing quality hybrid rice seeds.

Meanwhile, Dr. Carlos C. Abon, Jr., PhilSCAT Technology Product and Development Division (TPDD) chief gave an overview of the training course and explained its objectives.

According to Abon, the training course was designed to develop rice farmers, inbred rice seed growers and agricultural technicians’ knowledge, skills and attitudes into becoming effective hybrid rice seed producers and specialists in response to the government’s goal towards rice self-sufficiency.

“I am thankful with DOSEPCO for choosing Mestiso 38 and for extending its interest to venture into AxR seed production to sustain the availability of this seed variety in the market,” he added.

The opening ceremony was graced by Rosalinda Mediano, chief for field operations of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 11; Virgie Abonales, center chief, National Service Quality Control Services (NSQCS) Region 11; and Wennie Cantiga, seed inspector, LGU of Banaybanay, Davao Oriental.

Abonales said in her message, “Let us work with it, let us make this possible and let us exert our efforts to produce quality hybrid rice seeds to support our country’s vision –rice self-sufficiency.”

Likewise, Mediano reiterated that this kind of four-month training is one of a kind for it only consists of 17-day lecture sessions corresponding to the critical stages of hybrid rice seed production.

Technical experts from PhilSCAT led by Dr. Abon and staff from the Hybrid Rice Technology Unit (HRTU) will serve as lecturer/speakers of while NSQCS experts lead by Abonales will discuss the seed quality analysis, certification requirements and procedures.

This is the fourth OSSLT on AxR Seed production and certification co-implemented by PhilSCAT with different private and public rice industry sectors. PhilSCAT already affirmed a total of 71 potential rice seed growers in Palawan, Tarlac and Isabela through this training. RRCarbonel

PhilSCAT submit 3 promising hybrid rice lines to NCT for DS 2016

The Hybrid Rice Technology Unit (HRTU) of PhilSCAT submitted three promising hybrid rice lines to the National Cooperative Testing (NCT) this dry season (DS) 2016.

The three (3) lines submitted are LP 952, JY-4H and PhilSCAT 9 (P9) which already underwent two seasons of preliminary yield trials. However, P9 had undergone only 2 season of On-farm adaptability trials while LP952 had undergone two seasons of techno-demo.

JY-4H was bred by Hu Ji Yin, a former Chinese hybrid rice expert assigned at PhilSCAT in 2014 before he turned it over to NCT for adaptability trials. LP 952 is a Chinese hybrid variety by Longping HighTech subjected for testing here in the Philippines through PhilSCAT TCP II while P9 is a locally bred line produced by the Center.

According to Erickson Frediles, PhilSCAT science research specialist, the three promising lines exhibited good performance in terms of yield and resistance to pests and diseases.

LP 952 with maturity days of 117 performed best during the dry season 2016 technology demonstration in Vintar, Ilocos Norte compared to other sites in Luzon with a recorded yield 10 tons per hectare at the said site.

Moreover, PhilSCAT 9, with maturity days of 120 had the highest record in terms of yield in San, Nicolas, Ilocos Norte with a total of 10.3 tons per hectare recorded during the 2014 dry season through the On-farm adaptability trial.

“LP 952 has a good performance since it is not that affected by stem borer and brown leaf hopper compared to the other varieties in the market. But it also depends on the farmer’s pest management practice and spraying of the right pesticides,” Frediles said.

Moreover, the three (3) promising hybrid varieties have successfully passed the grain quality evaluation done at the Center’s Analytical Laboratory.

According to Erick Allain C. Flores, PhilSCAT science research analyst, as per sensory testof the three varieties when cooked has no aroma, no-off-odor, and no-off-taste.

Likewise, sensory attributes of raw milled rice of the three varieties showed no aroma, no-off-odor, and quite brittle while LP 952 and JY-4H are both white in color, slightly glossy and translucent unlike JY-4H which is slightly creamish in color, dull, and can be seen with 21-40% white belly.

Among the three varieties submitted to NCT, P9 has the highest milling recovery for both brown rice and total milled rice with 79.46% and 70.21% respectively and can be classified as Premium Milled Rice while LP 952 is classified as Grade 1, and JY-4H as Grade 2.

As of 2016, Longping 937 and PhilSCAT 8 are now ready for deliberation by the National Varietal Improvement Group after completing the four season preliminary yield performance done by the NCT.

As one of the major activities of the center, the Hybrid group has already bred 125 parent materials this season and test crossed 89 F1 combinations including 7 parent materials and 10 F1 combinations of Pakistani origin.

Frediles said, “Just like our activities before, we will continue what’s on the work plan. The supposed to be techno-demonstration should be done already but because of the delay in the delivery of seeds and budget release the activity implementation was also postponed.”

Furthermore, the three lines passed to NCT came from the 43 lines subjected for Preliminary Yield Trial (PYT) planted at the PhilSCAT’s techno demo farm. JMRarama