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166K Rice Farmers In Western Visayas Get Certified Seeds For Dry Season

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Some 166,005 rice farmers in Western Visayas have received certified seeds for the 2024 dry season, a report from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)-Negros Station on Thursday showed.

The distribution of certified seeds, aimed to increase farm productivity and boost the income of farmers, is being implemented under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Seed Program and the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) National Rice Program-Inbred Seed Component.

Based on the Rice Seed Monitoring System, a total of 331,761 seed bags were distributed out of the 391,965 seed bags delivered during the period Sept. 16, 2023 to Jan. 31, 2024.

The recipients are rice farmers from 133 cities and municipalities in six provinces of Western Visayas, with an estimated area planted of 146,216 hectares, the report added.

Covered are the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental.

High-yielding and location-specific rice varieties distributed include NSIC Rc 222, Rc 216, Rc 442, Rc 436, Rc 480, Rc 506, Rc 402, Rc 512, Rc 10 and Rc 18.

Certified inbred rice seed distribution is intended to complement and supplement the hybrid rice production strategy of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. under the administration’s food security agenda.

According to the DA, rice farmers using traditional home-saved seeds can harvest an average of only 3.6 metric tons per hectare while those planting certified inbred seeds under the RCEF are already producing at least four metric tons per hectare. (PNA)