BUTUAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture in the Caraga Region (DA-13) is set to open a 600-hectare hybrid rice technology demonstration farm here.

The farm, which will open in the second wet cropping season from June to July of this year, is among the target priority projects of the agency under its rice program for this year.

“The demonstration farm will showcase the different hybrid rice varieties available to our rice farmers in the region," DA-13 said in a statement Wednesday.

It added that the facility will also help identify the suitability of hybrid rice varieties of specific rice-producing areas in the Caraga Region.

The DA-13 initiative is being implemented in partnership with the city government here and the Agusan del Norte provincial government.

In this city, nine barangays have been validated by the DA-13 from March 7 to 10 for inclusion in the techno demo farm.

Francis Irene Limbaga, DA-13 rice report program officer, said around 500 farmer-cooperators from this city will take part in the development of the techno farm.

“Eight varieties of hybrid rice seeds will be distributed to our farmer-cooperators. These demo farms will be evaluated at the end of the cropping season to determine their suitability,” Limbaga said in an interview Wednesday.

At the end of the cropping season, Limbaga said DA-13 will come -up with a terminal report on the performance of each rice variety featured in the demonstration farms.

Demonstration farms will also be established in the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Surigao del Sur.

“Validations are also being conducted in the different areas in these provinces so that the demonstration farms in these areas can commence this June and July,” Limbaga said.

At least 400 hectares of demo farms will also be opened in Agusan del Norte; 1,000 hectares in Agusan del Sur; 500 hectares in Surigao del Sur. (PNA)