TACLOBAN CITY – A total of 113,500 bags of rice seeds will be distributed to farmers in Eastern Visayas as part of government efforts to ensure food sufficiency amid the global health crisis.
This is part of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Rice Resiliency Project (RRP) that targets to cover 116,500 hectares of rice lands for the September 2020 to March 2021 cropping season – 96,500 hectares for inbred seeds and 20,000 hectares for hybrid seeds.
The RRP is one of the components of the “Plant, Plant, Plant” program that aims to address potential scarcity due to the global health crisis.
Angel Enriquez, head of DA 8 (Eastern Visayas), said the region was allocated PHP538 million for the RRP from the PHP24-billion stimulus fund earmarked for the recovery of the country’s farming sector under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).
“Our main goal is to increase the volume of the region’s rice output. This is something that we critically need to combat the threat of hunger amid the new normal in food production,” Enriquez said in a statement on Tuesday.
The budget also includes the distribution of 253,000 bags of fertilizers, wherein eligible farmers will be given a voucher they would present to purchase the farm input from accredited dealers, distributors, cooperatives, or farmers associations.
Recipients would receive a PHP2,000 voucher for every hectare of land planted with inbred seeds and PHP3,000 for those planted with hybrid seeds.
“We shall replicate again and again, the quick positioning and distribution of high-quality rice seeds and appropriate fertilizers through the help of our agricultural program coordinating offices and the provincial and local agriculture offices across the region,” she said.
As of November 24, some 34,269 bags of rice seeds and 52,950 bags of fertilizers have been positioned in the region’s six provinces, based on the monitoring report of the regional rice program management unit.
The regional office also assured that all seeds for distribution are registered with the National Seed Registry Council.
To avail of the program, the DA urged farmers to register at the Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture through their respective city or municipal agriculture office. (PNA)