A total of 2,521 hybrid seeds as well as 16,523 bags of fertilizer have been allocated for Catanduanes rice farmers under the Department of Agriculture’s twin rice programs intended to ramp up local food production to address potential scarcity and hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg), it started the delivery of the seeds and fertilizers recently and as of June 9, 2020, 712 bags of hybrid rice seeds in four varieties have been delivered to rice farmers in all 11 towns along with 300 bags of urea fertilizer in time for the 2020 wet cropping season.
Under the Rice Resiliency Program (RRP), Catanduanes is slated to receive a total of 2,196 bags of expanded hybrid seeds in eight different varieties, as follows: Bagamanoc, 145; Baras, 170; Bato, 170; Caramoran, 150; Gigmoto, 190; Pandan, 160; Panganiban, 210; San Andres, 180; San Miguel, 200; Viga, 391; and, Virac, 230.
Under the National Rice Program, another 325 bags of hybrid seeds will be given to farmers on the 11 towns, as follows: Bagamanoc, 1; Baras, 7; Bato, 8; Caramoran, 3; Gigmoto, 19; Pandan, 16; Panganiban, 21; San Andres, 20; San Miguel, 21; Viga. 139; and, Virac, 70.
Both programs are part of the DA’s stimulus program named Agri 4Ps – Plant, Plant, Plant Program otherwise known as Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat kontra Covid-19 (ALPAS sa Covid-19) Program aimed at improving the country’s food sufficiency.
Under the RRP, inbred and hybrid rice seeds with fertilizers will be distributed for farmers of both rainfed and irrigated areas, on top of the existing Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), and support to inbred and hybrid farmers under the NRP.
The project has been categorized into three components: the RCEF-Enhanced that will provide fertilizers to the 947 targeted cities/municipalities to complement the distribution of inbred seeds under the RCEF seed component by the DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute; the Expanded Inbred Rice Production or an expanded inbred certified seed distribution, coupled with fertilizers, to enhance production in areas not covered by RCEF seed component but within RCEF and non-RCEF provinces; and, the Expanded Hybrid Rice Production in suitable areas will distribute hybrid rice seeds and fertilizers.
The program targets an increase of 0.3 to 1.5 metric tons per hectare in yield.
In the Bicol Region, Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Masbate are covered by the RCEF-Enhanced Sub-Project and Expanded Inbred Rice Production (Beyong RCEF Areas) Sub-Project, while Catanduanes and Camarines Norte are under the Expanded Hybrid Rice Production in Suitable Areas Sub-Project.
In Catanduanes, the RRP farmer-recipients will receive seeds and fertilizers according to the size of their farmland.
The farmers, depending on the area of their land, will have to buy at least one bag of fertilizer to entitle them to another, free bag of fertilizer.
The scheme will be as follows: for area less than 0.5 hectare, buy 1 take 1; greater than 0.5 ha. to 0.9 ha., buy 2 take 2; 1 ha., buy 2 take 3; greater than 1 ha. to 1.5 ha., buy 3 take 4; greater than 1.5 ha. to 1.9 ha., buy 4 take 5; 2 ha., buy 4 take 6; and, 5 ha., buy 10 take 15.
The proof of purchase must be submitted by the farmer during the claiming of the farm inputs.