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Ilocos Rice Farmers Get Hybrid Seeds For Wet Season

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Ilocos Rice Farmers Get Hybrid Seeds For Wet Season

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) started on Thursday the official rollout of hybrid rice seeds expected to boost Ilocos Norte farmers’ yield by 15 percent or six tons per hectare during the wet season.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency, Currimao municipal agriculturist engineer Erickson Biag said about 159 farmers from the municipality received their shares during the seeds distribution at the covered courts of Cabuusan, Maglaoi Centro, Maglaoi Sur and Maglaoi Norte.

He said a total of 850 rice farmers from the municipality are set to receive from the DA Regional Field Office 1 hybrid rice seeds until June 19.

Latest data from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (IRRI) show that Ilocos Norte attained rice production output of 338,681 metric tons in 2023, with 65,069 hectares of area harvested and a yield of 5.18 metric tons per hectare.

Also, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data show that the province contributes 16.83 percent of the total rice production in Region 1.

“We are so thankful for the overwhelming support of the government to us, (the) farmers. This is a big help considering the rising prices of farm inputs and worsening effect of climate change,” Rainy Valente, a rice farmer from Comcomloong village, said in an interview.

Through DA’s national rice program, farmers are given high-quality seeds that are appropriate in their areas in time for the wet season.

Based on the DA Regional Field Office 1 report, there are a total of 355,742 rice farmers in the region under the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture.

These farmers are qualified to receive aid from DA this year, with a total of PHP2.9 billion budget for the rice program in Region 1.

“Of the total amount, 88 percent or about PHP2.6 billion, has been allowed for production support services,” Leah Coloma, senior agriculturist and focal percent for rice program, said.

Aside from the ongoing distribution of hybrid seeds, eligible farmers can also receive inorganic fertilizers, soil ameliorants and bio fertilizers. (PNA)