ILOILO CITY— Rice farmers in Western Visayas will receive rice seeds and fertilizer subsidies from the Department of Agriculture (DA) beginning this May in time for the 2020 wet cropping season.
DA allotted P1.06 billion for the provision of certified inbred and hybrid seeds as well as inorganic fertilizer to rice growers of Region 6 through the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP).
“This project is under the DA’s Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19 that targets to increase our local production of rice and to attain food security,” said Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter.
The RRP has three subprojects including the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund – Enhanced, Expanded Inbred, and Expanded Hybrid.
RCEF beneficiaries who received certified inbred seeds from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) could avail of two bags of Urea fertilizer per hectare. The RCEF Enhanced will cover 179,878 hectares of rice areas in the region.
Under the Expanded Inbred subproject, one bag certified inbred seeds and two bags of Urea fertilizer per hectare will be given to farmer-beneficiaries. Those who cultivate good seeds or home-saved seeds will also be given two bags of urea fertilizer for a hectare of rice land. The Expanded Inbred subproject will cover 47,574 hectares.
Meanwhile, one bag of hybrid seeds and three bags of urea fertilizer per hectare will be distributed to farmers who prefer to grow hybrid rice particularly in areas with sufficient irrigation. About 68,234 hectares in the region will benefit from this subproject.
“For farmers to avail of free Urea fertilizer, they have to present an official receipt indicating that they had already bought Triple 14 and/or 16-20-20 for balanced fertilization,” said Recoter.
Farmers who purchased fertilizers since April 24, 2020, from Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority-accredited stores are qualified to avail of the inputs.
All beneficiaries must have been listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) to receive the free seeds and fertilizers.
“We should not depend a portion of our food supply from other countries as there are indications that other countries such as Thailand and Vietnam may secure their own production for their domestic consumption, as global supply tightens amidst the pandemic, echoes DA Sec William Dar,” said Recoter.
The RRP aims to increase at least 0.3 metric tons to 1.5 metric tons per hectare average yield of palay production in Western Visayas.