CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The adaptation of climate-resilient agricultural technologies and systems of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has improved the lives of a farmers' group in Victoria, Tarlac.
The AMIA Cruz Farmers Association is now reaping the benefits of adapting the DA’s Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture (AMIA) program which helps them manage the challenges brought by climate change.
Lina Apolonio, the chairperson of group, said on Tuesday they have been harvesting more since their organization was established in 2019 as part of the DA-AMIA’s climate-resilient agriculture practices promotion project.
She said the DA-AMIA’s interventions that boost their group’s resiliency against climate change include the provision of shallow tube wells that give them ample supply of water even during the dry season.
She said the DA provided them hand tractor and harvester.
The DA also taught them Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD), a water-saving technology that farmers can apply to reduce their irrigation water consumption in rice fields without decreasing its yield.
Apolonio also said they also followed the rice crop manager advisory service that provides farmers with information geared toward increasing productivity and profitability of rice farming through targeted integrated nutrient and crop management.
“Sa hybrid naman, nalaman po namin na 15 kilos sa isang ektarya ay sapat na at sa inbred naman 40 kilos sapat na sa isang ektarya. Nakakatipid na kami ng marami doon (In hybrid, we found out that 15 kilos of seeds is enough for a hectare is enough while in inbred is 40 kilos per hectare, We save a lot from it),” she said in an interview.
Through the DA’s initiative, she said a hybrid rice derby was done in their area in March last year which showed that hybrid rice farming increased their yield.
“Noon traditional, inbred rice lang po talaga kami at masaya na si farmer kung nakakaani siya ng 80 hanggang 90 cavans per hectare for every cropping. Noong inakap po namin ang hybridization sinubukan po namin. At okay naman po ‘yung naging resulta ng Hybrid Derby na ginawa rito dahil umani po kami ng 160, nadoble ‘yung inaani namin noon noong gumamit kami ng hybrid rice (Before when it was traditional, we only had inbred rice and the farmer was happy if he could harvest 80 to 90 cavans per hectare for every cropping. When we embraced and tried hybridization, the result of the hybrid derby was okay because we harvested 160 cavans, which is double of what we harvested using hybrid rice),” Apolonio said.
She noted that their association’s assets have reached PHP5 million since their adaption of the DA-AMIA program three years ago.
Apolonio said patience and courage to embrace new technologies and systems against climate resiliency were also keys to the success of their organization. (PNA)