PRESS RELEASE
Department of Agriculture RFU 5
San Agustin, Pili, Camarines Sur
December 11, 2012

Organic rice field day held in Bula, Cam. Sur


The Pecuaria Development Cooperative, Inc. (PDCI), the leading single producer of organic rice in Bicol region is among the five certified organic collaborators chosen by the Department of Agriculture nationwide for its project entitled Development of National Organic Rice Seed Production Systems with Informal Sector. The other four certified organic farms are the Central Luzon State University in Nueva Ecija, Kahariam Realty and Farms Inc. in Batangas, the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Foundation Inc. and Bios Dynamis of South Cotabato.

Recently, the PDCI, with the Department of Agriculture conducted Organic Rice Field Day attended by more than 300 rice farmers. Organically produced aromatic rice varieties such as JM 2, Basmati and MS 16, and traditional varieties RC 18 and RC 160 which are being developed in a 1 hectare demo farm in the more than 800 hectare Pecuaria Rice Central in Lanipga Bula, Camarines Sur were harvested during said field day.

Dante Fidel, National Seed Coordinator and Organic Agriculture focal person of the Bureau of Plant Industry said the project is being implemented by the DA- Bureau of Plant Industry and funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research to support the Philippine Organic Agriculture Law. Fidel also added that the seeds produced from this techno demo will be procured by the DA and will be distributed as starter seeds to farmers engaged in aromatic rice production.
Dr. Santiago Obien, Senior Technical Adviser of the DA National Rice Program was impressed with the PDCI's organized efforts in rice production. He urged the farmers to spread the production of aromatic rice varieties. He disclosed that NSIC RC 160 is a high yielding variety developed in CLSU, while the MS 16 (Maligaya Special ) developed by PhilRice has good eating quality. He emphasized the continued support of the DA National Rice Program to the Filipino farmers and promised to revitalize organic agriculture in all areas of the country.

Ms. Adelina Losa, Region 5 Organic Agriculture focal person read the message of Assistant Secretary Salacup who was not able to come because of more pressing problems in Mindanao. In his message, he commended the PDCI for being a model of an active and successful farmers' cooperation advocating greater adoption and promotion of sustainable agriculture through organic agriculture. In his message, he commended the Bicol region for contributing 44% of the country's organic crops production and for contributing 74% to the total organic palay production from January to September this year.

Also present during the field day were Ruel Gesmundo, Chief of the National Seed Quality Control Services in Manila; Jesse Fernandez, Senior Researcher of Philrice Bicol; former BAFPS Director Gilberto Layese; Mayor Benjamin Decena; Miller Bicaldo, General Manager of the PDCI and farmer cooperator Gener Bicaldo. (Lovella P. Guarin)


Ceremonial Harvesting of Organic Rice. (L-R) Miller Bicaldo, PDCI General Manager, Adelina Losa, Bicol Organic Agriculture Focal Person; Dr. Santiago Obien, Senior Technical Adviser of DA National Rice Program; Jesse Fernandez, Senior Researcher of PhilRice Bicol; Dante Fidel, BPI focal person for Organic Agriculture and Ruel Gesmundo, Chief of the National Seed Quality Control Services in Manila proudly show the rice they harvested during the field day held at the Pecuaria Rice Central in Lanipga Bula, Cam. Sur. Inset are the farmer participants.

Dr. Santiago Obien, Senior Technical Adviser of DA National Rice Program addresses the participants composed of members of Pecuaria Development Coop., Inc. and Cam. Sur Organic Advocateurs Development Council (shown below).