TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Around 50 rice farmers from Barangay Bulanao Norte attended the city’ farmers field day organised by the Office of the City Agricultural Services (OfCAS).
Through the technology demonstration of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Seed Program, crop performances of different high-yielding varieties were exhibited to over 50 farmer-visitors.
In an interview with Rhey Mark Credo, Project Development Officer of PhilRice Isabela, the event aims to introduce to rice farmers inbred rice varieties; national varieties (NSIC Rc 222, NSIC Rc 216 & NSIC RC 402), the regional varieties (NSIC Rc 480 and PSB Rc 18) and the newly released variety NSIC Rc 508.
Credo said that these newly-released rice seed varieties have a reputation for being affordable, and ensures higher yield due to pest and disease resistance.
Additionally, the techno demo would also showcase use of low-cost technology machinery called drumseeder.
Credo explained that the drumseeder is mechanized method of direct seeding. It is a manually drawn planting equipment used to directly sow seeds at predefined row and hill spacing. Unlike broadcasting, the use of drum seeder enables the farmer to plant seeds in rows like in transplanting. This planting method would save money of farmers by reducing labor cost, seed requirement (40-60kg of seed per hectare), and also saves time and effort during planting season.
OfCAS agriculturist Michelle Lumas-i said that the city government has already purchased 15 units of drum seeders which will be given anytime soon to qualified organizations. Each organization must commit at least 15 hectares of farm land as their techno demo to intensify the promotion of the technology to more farmers.
The OfCAS hopes that with the introduction of the new rice seed variety and the farm machinery, local farmers would improve their farming skills, increase their production and earn bigger profit.
The activity dubbed as “Field Walk” is a regular program of the Department of Agriculture and Philrice through the RCEF Seed Program or “Palay Sikatan.”