Some two million bags at 20 kilos per bag of certified seeds under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund are set for distribution to rice farmers this year.
According to the Department of Agriculture, the bags of seeds would roughly translate to planting around one million hectares of rice land which can contribute in increasing the yield up to six tons per hectare in high-yielding provinces by 2024.
Among the rice seed varieties for distribution include NSIC Rc 160, Rc 216, Rc 222, and two location-specific inbred varieties.
Agriculture Sec. William Dar said among the provinces that are considered for the program are those with high potential for competitiveness.
“So far, we have identified 57 provinces based on the size of area harvested, yield level, cost of production, and share of irrigated area. These municipalities and cities must also have an annual area planted of more than 500-hectare for dry season 2019-2020,” Dar said.
Farmer-beneficiaries are those listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture.
Each farmer receives seeds for two consecutive cropping seasons until December 2020, and is entitled to a maximum of four bags of inbred seeds depending on farm size for October to December planting season.
Dar said that prior to the distribution, farmers would be provided with technical briefings on seed preparation and other interventions and technologies from the Philippine Rice Research Institute for them to achieve the target yield in their areas.
“Farmers will also be given rice production manual and seed propagation booklet to help them achieve the yield potential of certified seeds,” he added.