Rice Board to hold 16th Nat’l Rice Technology Forum

MANILA – The private sector-led Rice Board is holding the 16th National Rice Technology Forum (NRTF) in Hagonoy, Davao del Sur on Sept. 19 to 21.

Rice Board is collaborating closely with the National Rice Program of the Department of Agriculture, particularly for the clustering program where farms of at least 100 hectares of hybrid and inbred rice lands in 15 provinces will be consolidated.

Expected to participate in the forum are 1,000 members per day of the clustered farms, technicians of the seed companies, machinery providers, soil nutrition producers and fertilizer companies, other industry players, and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

Farmers from the entire Region 11 (Davao) and other regions in the country are the target audiences of the three-day technology forum.

Dr. Frisco Malabanan of the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program (MIRDP) said two to three varieties of hybrid rice at 85 percent maturity stages will be showcased so that farmers can better appreciate the qualities of the planted seed varieties.

The technology forum would have farm visitations (members of irrigators associations, farmers cooperatives and associations) while scheduled in the afternoon are the technology forum and techno market, where farmers would be exposed to new technologies like biofertilizers, new seed (hybrid and inbred) varieties and soil nutrient forums.

Exhibits of hybrid technology providers, machinery, PhilRice and soil nutrition companies will be installed so farmers can better appreciate the latest farming trends and best farm practices they can use when they return to their farms.

Since each day would be devoted to farmers from different regions of the country, the itinerary follows a similar pattern such as a keynote speech, field visit, techno forum and an overview of the MIRDP by its different heads.

Quezon 1st District Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga, chair of the House Committee on Agriculture and Food, will deliver the keynote address on the first day after which MIRDP’s Dr. Andrew Villacorta will provide a program overview and Rice Board president Recher Ondap will explain the rationale for holding the NRTF.

A digital agriculture and farm machinery equipment demonstration (TekTok) with technical sessions will be conducted in the afternoon.

On the second day, a field tour of the demo farms using hybrid seeds will be held to be followed by a presentation on the overview of MIRDP Director Glenn Estrada and a talk by Rice Board’s Ondap.

On the last day, the schedule includes a field tour, overview by MIRDP Director Emerson Yago, presentation of the rationale of the forum by Ondap and Digital Agriculture and Farm Machinery and Equipment exhibit.

Participants in the Asia and Pacific Seed Association study tour on hybrid rice and corn will also visit the 100-hectare clustered demo farm, Malabanan said. (PR)