A photo of the standing crop at the Inbred Rice Model Farm in Bgy. Kalinisan, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro that will be used for the Seed Exchange. ### Photo by Denice Joelle Benosa, RAFIS, DA-MIMAROPA
Department of Agriculture-MIMAROPA Rice Program showcased high-quality inbred rice seeds through a Farmers’ Field Day on February 21 for its Seed Exchange Program. It was conducted at a 4-hectare inbred rice model farm operated by local farmers in an irrigated lowland area in Bgy. Kalinisan, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.
The regional agri-department provided the operators of the model farms with registered seeds of RC 218 (Dinorado), sacks, and farm inputs that were recommended by the Rice Crop Manager, an application that gives a recommendation on the proper application of fertilizer and pesticide. Farmer-operators also underwent training activities on proper seed care, system rice intensification, mechanization, and RCM.
SeedEx is a program that aims to raise awareness in using high-quality seeds. It also hopes to convince rice farmers in an informal farmer production and exchange system to shift to high-quality seeds that have high percentages of vigor and germination.
Apart from promoting high-end variety such as inbred rice, DA has also been promoting high-quality seeds for it assures higher yield that will give farmers a higher income.
Furthermore, this program will also increase the access to appropriate inbred rice variety operated by farmers inside the community as well as sharing the advantages of using the new technology and techniques through the farmer-to-farmer exchange.
Engr. Ma. Teresa Carido, DA-MIMAROPA Provincial Focal Person for Rice Program, explains the purpose of the Rice Seed Exchange in front of the potential buyers from different barangays of Nauja. ###Denice Joelle Benosa, RAFIS, DA-MIMAROPA
Farmers’ Field Day
During the farmers' field day, which the rice crop has reached its time for harvest, farmers from different sitios of Naujan saw the seeds purity and vigor.
The event started with ceremonial crop cutting lead by the Rice Program Provincial Coordinator Ma. Teresa Carido, Municipal Agriculture Officer Raquelita Umali with their Rice Focal Person Desiree Sarabia. It was to showcase a sample of the seeds from the farm to convince commercial rice-growers to buy the said seeds.
Afterward, a forum was conducted to accommodate the questions of the potential buyers to further understand what was the SeedEx Program all about and why the need to shift to high-quality seeds.
The event was attended not only by farmers but also their local officials who are Vice Mayor Sheryl Morales, Municipal Councilor Howard Daniel Arteza, Barangay Captain Arnold Manalo, among others.Provincial Rice Coordinator Ely Vargas and Naujan Farmers Association (NAFA) President Conrado Balmes also attended the said event.
NAFA President was convinced that such a program could help the farmers to have much higher productivity and income. “Now, we are sure that we have access to high-quality seeds in our town,” he said in an interview.
After the forum, the farmer operators were able to harvest 90 bags (in 60 kilos) per hectare and sell 83 bags during the event.
One of the buyers is Flordeliza Dela Luna of Bgy. Kalinisan who bought 22 bags from the farmer operators. She was glad that she was able to avail the rice seeds without any hustle.
“Natutuwa po kami dahil madali na po kami makakakuha ng binhi kasi minsan po ay araw na ng taniman ay wala pa po kaming nakukuhang binhi,” she shared.###