DARAGA, Albay—More than 60 members of the National Rice Seed Growers Federation of the Philippines, Inc. (PHIL Palay) and representatives of the different national and regional representatives of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), and the Bureau of Plant Industry-National Seed Quality Control Services (NSQCS) convened to discuss the recently approved Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Program (RCEP)-Seed Component and the Revised Guidelines for the Accreditation of Inbred Rice Seed Growers/Producers on June 19, 2019 in one of the hotels here.

According to PhilRice’s Deputy Executive Director for Research Dr. Flordeliza H. Borday, the RCEP will strengthen farmer organizations engaged in seed production and trade, and will support the government’s program on promoting agriculture enterprise development. Her agency will tap local seed grower associations/cooperatives in propagating certified seeds.

PhilRice shall be the exclusive source of Rice Seeds (RS) of recommended varieties to ensure quality of certified seeds for propagation.  PhilRice shall enter into direct contracting agreement with all eligible seed grower associations/cooperatives using the government authorized buying price of certified inbred seed.

Seed grower associations/cooperatives should be accredited by BPI-NSQCS and registered with either by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The association/cooperative should be owned, managed, and operated by Filipino citizens with active members accredited by NSQCS and engaged in seed production in the last three years. It should have a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) tax clearance/tax exemption and official receipts; and PhilGEPS-registered. It should have a physical area within the Philippines for seed production, with working seed postharvest facilities (e.g., dryer, thresher, seed cleaner-blower, and storage); and has good performance in seed-related transactions with DA-RFOs in the last two years.

Only in case of shortfall in PhilRice Rice Seed (RS) production that the eligible seed grower associations/cooperatives participating in the program will be allowed to source from DA-accredited RS producers who obtained foundation seeds from PhilRice.

PhilRice will allocate the seed production volume requirement to all contracted seed grower associations/cooperatives proportional to area capacity, variety, location, and planting schedule. Certified inbred seeds will be sourced from the nearest seed grower association/cooperative to enhance timely distribution.

The contracted seed grower associations/cooperatives will follow the PhilRice and NSQCS recommended inbred seed production protocol and prescribed certification process; and should use the prescribed packaging (20 kg & print design). Included in the packaging is a printed direction/instruction for use as recommended by PhilRice. All certified seeds to be acquired must pass the NSQCS certification.

The contracted seed grower associations/cooperatives will deliver the seeds to designated drop-off points within the region in consultation with DA-RFOs, local government units and field offices within the set schedule. PhilRice will designate delivery inspectors and may deputize permanent staff from C/MLGUs and/or DA-RFOs for the purpose.

Borday assured the attendees that PhilRice will continue to engage in dialogues with all accredited seed grower associations/cooperatives; guide them in their seed production and synchronize the seed requirement of the program to the availability of seed supply.

BPI-NSQCS Center Chief Ruel C. Gesmundo presented the Department Circular No. 09 series of 2018 or the Revised Guidelines for the Accreditation of Inbred Rice Seed Growers/Producers which will ensure and provide a sustainable and adequate supply of quality seeds.

Meanwhile, Consultant Valentino Perdido awarded a cheque worth Php 50,000.00 to Gil Nery Del Barrio, a seed grower from Camarines Norte who was awarded last March 28 by the National Seed Industry Council as Outstanding Seed Grower Innovator for Seed Grower Category for Luzon.

Ibibili ko ito ng Manual Transplanter,” he said. (jaysonmgonzales)