DA sets up 100-hectare rice technology demo farm in Butuan

By Alexander Lopez

June 11, 2020, 10:26 am

BUTUAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture in the Caraga Region (DA-13) is establishing a rice technology demonstration farm on a 100-hectare area here to intensify the adoption of hybrid rice technology among farmers in the region.

In a statement Wednesday (June 10), DA-13 said the adoption of hybrid rice practices and technologies will help farmers improve productivity and ensure increased income.

The agency said efforts are still needed to make the farmers in Caraga Region adopt hybrid rice practices and technologies.

Data provided by DA-13 showed that hybrid utilization among farmers in the area was only rated 11.99 percent and 17.11 percent by the year 2019.

"Food is the vital commodity especially now as we are overcoming the threats of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic,” said DA-13 Regional Executive Director (RED) Abel James  Monteagudo in the statement.

Monteagudo noted that one of DA's primary objectives is to bring to the farmers the latest technology in rice production.

“We can only achieve this by our collaboration and partnership with the rice industry stakeholders," Monteagudo said, adding the establishment of the rice technology demonstration farm is also an effective tool to convince more farmers to adopt hybrid rice practices.

The demonstration farms will be established in the Barangays of Lemon, Basag, and Ampayon.

DA-13 said that around 40 participating farmer cooperators have already signed in to take part in the regular activities at the demonstrations farms.

The 40 farmer cooperators are now working on land preparations in their respective areas inside the demonstration farm in preparation for hybrid planting, the agency said.

“They will be provided with seeds, input requirements, crop protection as well as technical assistance following the package of technology recommended for a particular hybrid rice variety by the agriculture companies and rice institutions,” it added.

Agricultural companies such as SL Agritech Corporation, SeedWorks, Bioseed, Ramgo, Bayer, Pioneer, Syngenta, Advanta, and LongPing are set to join in the development of the demonstration farms in the area.

DA-13 will also be supported by the DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) and Phil-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology (PhilSCAT) in the development of said hybrid rice demonstration farms.

DA-13 also announced that it will be hosting the 11th National Rice Technology Forum (NRTF) in collaboration with Rice Productivity Advocacy Incorporated (Rice Board) in partnership with the city government of Butuan.

The hosting of the forum will further boost the efforts of DA-13 to convince more farmers to adopt hybrid rice technology practices.

The NRTF, the DA-13 added, is also aimed to help rice farmers increase their yields and productivity to ensure food sufficiency, availability, accessibility, and affordability in the region. (PNA)