The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has provided scholarships to 125 registered farmers in Antique to boost their income.
TESDA Antique provincial director Glenn Murphy, in an interview Tuesday, said hands-on training is being conducted at the Uswag Durog Rivergems Farm, an accredited training center.
“We are now focusing on agriculture, especially on rice for sustainability,” Murphy said.
Since Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law allowed rice importation in the country, then farmers have to be trained on the new farming technologies and use of modern agricultural equipment for them to be competitive, he added.
Murphy said by getting the proper training, then they will be producing high-yielding and good quality rice to be sold in the market. They can sell their products at a lower price because the labor cost is also low.
TESDA has two accredited training centers for farmers in Antique: Uswag Durog Rivergems Farm in San Remigio and the Others Farm in San Jose de Buenavista.
Rhea Dacallo of the Uswag Durog Rivergems Farm, in a separate interview, said they have ongoing training for farmers from Barangays Alangan, Catungan, and District I in Sibalom, which are divided into five batches, at 25 per batch.
“The on-site training for the farmers actually started last June 14 to September 18 and then they will have entrepreneurship training from September 20-22,” she said.
Dacallo added that they are training farmers on the production of high-quality in-bred, certified seeds and farm mechanization such as using the walk-behind transplanter and four-wheeled tractor.
Anthony Abong, a rice technician of the Sibalom Municipal Agriculture Office and one of the trainers, said it is important for farmers to know the new technology on rice production so they could increase their yield.
“In our techno-demonstration, we used the RC480, which is high-yielding and a new variety, developed by Philippine Rice Institute,” he said in an interview.
He said using the traditional variety like Azucena, a farmer can only harvest 60 cavans per hectare, but with high-yielding varieties, they could harvest more than 100 per hectare.
He added that with mechanization like the four-wheeled tractor it is easy for farmers to do land preparation and that they could incur less labor cost. (PNA)