NAGA CITY – To improve farmers’ access to high quality seeds which is one of the formula for a higher productivity and profitability in rice production, the Department of Agriculture region 5 Rice Program, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) Bicol and the National Seed Quality Control Services joined forces to harmonize and strengthen the rice seed production system in the region.

In a consultation meeting with over 80 rice seed growers, Seed Net members, provincial rice program coordinators, seed coordinators and seed inspectors, the three government offices laid down the rice seed production and distribution workplan for the region for 2018. The 2-day consultation and project briefing was held in one of the hotels in this city on February 27-28, 2018.

Director Victoria S. Lapitan of PhilRice Bicol bared that for the first semester 2018, the national Rice Program targeted a total 1,955,360 hectares rice area of which 360,752 for hybrid and 1,594,608 certified seeds (high quality seeds/inbred). Director Lapitan thus, appealed to the rice seed growers and seednet members of every province to intensify the production of PhilRice recommended varieties and those preferred by the seed growers and farmers. The national rice program recommends NSIC Rc 302 for Bicol which can yield from 5.7 to 10.4 tons/hectare. The PhilRice Bicol recommends NSIC Rc 222, 216, 238, 160, 300, 354,352, 302 and PSB Rc 18 and 82.

 

The Seed Industry Act or RA 7308 mandated the PhilRice to “develop appropriate rice varieties suited under Philippine conditions, propagate these into breeder, foundation, and registered seeds, and extend all necessary technical assistance to ensure the proper utilization of such seeds on the farm level.” 
Rona T. Dollentas, project leader of the Rice Seed System Program of PhilRice Bicol presented the objectives of the project which are: Enlist the support and commitment of the seed growers, seednet members and LGUs to the program; identify constraints on the rice seed availability and distribution and come up with the consolidated workplan for effective seed production and distribution. To achieve the seed requirement for the region, the PhilRice will strengthen the existing seednet which include the Provincial Agricultural Center in Tula-Tula, Legazpi City; Central Bicol Experiment Station in DA RFO 5 compound; CSU in Panganiban, Catanduanes; DEBESMSCAT in Masbate; and Sorsogon State College in Sorsogon City.

Anacleto Esplana, Regional Seed Coordinator of the Department of Agriculture Bicol reported the DA’s target on regional seed requirement for 2018. Under the seed exchange program, a total of 90,267 hectares are targeted to be planted to certified rice seeds, while 1,984 hectares are targeted to be planted to registered rice seeds in the Bicol region. Under the project establishment of hybrid model farms 6,000 hectares are targeted while under the inbred rice model farm project, 2,500 hectares are targeted for this year.

Esplana also added that the regional target for seed buffer stocking is 35,000 bags of certified seeds at 40 kg/bag; 1,000 bags of hybrid rice at 15kg/bag; and 600 bags registered seed at 20kg/bag.

Meanwhile, Corazon Orbon, superintendent of the Central Bicol Experiment Station and focal person for the Next Generation Project in Bicol, presented the results of three years of participatory varietal selection of climate resilient rice varieties for various ecosystem such as saline, flood prone and drought areas in Camarines Sur under the Next Gen project. Orbon urged the seed growers to also put a little investment on producing stress tolerant seed varieties for the marginal farmers. Through the Next Gen project, the DA was able to sustain the productivity levels in the adverse rice areas. (Lovella P. Guarin/ photo by Jun Collantes)