Iriga: DA features farm updates during 14th Nat’l Rice Techno Forum

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Featuring the best and latest rice farming technologies and innovations, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol thru its Agriculture Rice Program and Agricultural Training Institute spearheaded the opening of the 4-day 14th National Rice Technology Forum at San Ramon, Bula, Camarines Sur.

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The confab with the theme “Increase Production through Hybrid Rice Technology,” was also made possible thru DA’s partnership with the Rice Productivity Advocacy Incorporated or Rice Board, Local Government Unit of Bula, Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority and private seed companies.

In a video message, DA Secretary William Dar expressed his congratulations to all the farmer cooperatives and their members for their adherence to the programs and technologies provided by the department.

“Nais kong batiin ang San Agustin, San Ramon Farmers Cooperative (SARFC) na nagsisilbing cooperators natin sa isasagawang hybrid and inbred rice techno demonstrations. This 104 hectares demonstration area serves as our show window to exhibit the advantages of using quality seeds. It also showcases the best practices of our farmers including the application of the right technologies and the proper use of digital tools and other farm types of machinery to achieve high yield at low production cost,” Dar said during the forum’s opening on April 18, Monday at SARFC covered area, San Ramon, in Bula.

“SARFC covered a total rice area of 104.30 hectares and served as the technology demonstration area where 12 seed companies planted 27 hybrid seeds to showcase the advantages and benefits of hybrid rice which can give a higher yield than ordinary inbred palay seeds by 10 to 15%,” DA Spokesperson Emilia Bordado stated.

DA V Regional Director Rodel P. Tornilla said that the forum aims to showcase new technologies and the farming sector’s best practices, boost the farmer’s productivity and ensure that the food demand is addressed given the continuous rise in population.

“Sabi nga ni Usec, nagsimula mag distribute ng lupa 50 milon pa lang yung tao, ngayon 110 na. Meaning, dumadami yung pinapakain natin. At habang dumadami yung pinapakain natin na mga tao, kailangan natin mag adapt, dailangan din natin padamihin yung ating production sa limitadong resources kagaya ng lupa (As what USEC have said, we started distributing farm lots when the population is still at 50 million, now it has reached 110.

Meaning, we need to feed more and more people, and while these mouths to feed continue to increase, we need to adapt and increase our production within the limited resources, like our farmlots),” Tornilla added.

Tornilla said that one of the highlights of this year’s forum is the operationalization of the Consolidation scheme or the Bayanihan Agri-clustering, which is one of the four pillars that will support the One-DA Reform Agenda initiated by Sec. Dar.

PhilRice also participated in the techno-demo and shared their 4 inbred varieties. They also feature their cost-reducing technologies and cited the efficiency of using modern farm equipment and types of machinery, the use of drones, and other digital tools.

“Camarines Sur is one of the 15 provinces in the country selected for hybrid rice planting with an expected yield advantage of at least 1 ton per hectare against the traditional inbred seed varieties,” Bordada stated.

The 4-day National Rice Technology Forum will include discussions on digital agriculture, farm machinery, equipment demo, field demo, and field tour. (Ana-Liza S. Macatangay)

(Source: PIA5 – Camarines Sur)

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