Showcasing the improved and developed hybrid varieties, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office IX (DA9) in collaboration with the Rice Productivity Advocacy Incorporated (Rice Board) and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Dipolog City launched the National Rice Technology Forum (NRTF) in Barangay Olingan, Dipolog City.

“This gathering aims to develop, share and cascade to the farmers the rice technology to augment production and income in agriculture. We conduct training and educate the farmers about seed production, cultural practices, and post-harvest. Our farmers will benefit from these hybrid rice field demonstrations,” presented Recher Ondap, President of the Rice Board.

Some 200 provincial, municipal agriculturists, extension workers, and farmers came to witness the 17 - hectare rice field in Barangay Olingan, Dipolog City. This strategic location serves as a demonstration farm for the different hybrid rice varieties. Among the participating private seed companies are SL Agritech, Syngenta, Seedworks, Philscat, Dupont Pioneer, Bioseed, Longping Tropical Rice Development, and Advanta.

DA 9 Regional Director Constancio Alama boosted the pride of the farmers. “Be proud we are farmers. No professionals will be successful without any food to eat. Our mission is to produce sufficient and affordable food.”

Director Alama commended the effort of farmers, extension workers and agriculturists. In 2017, Region 9 ranked 2nd for the increasing production in rice with 22.15% increase in yield. Currently, the region has an average yield of 4.11 metric tons per hectare from 3.74 mt/h in 2016. This significant increase in yield was obtained through hybrid rice production in the region. With this increase yield, farmers also increase their income and rice becomes affordable to more consumers.

The ringing of the bell and the toasting of the wine signified the full support and cooperation of the collaborating agencies, LGUs, Rice Board and the private seed companies.

Evelyn Academia, Regional Rice Commodity Coordinator, invited the participants to join and witness the harvest festival on March 21 - 23, 2018. The harvest festival will prove the performance and potential yield of hybrid rice. This activity aims to achieve the goal for food sufficiency in the country. (ICabeguin/DA9)

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