CEBU CITY – The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) has distributed a total of 46,800 bags of inbred rice seeds to 15 municipalities in Bohol and Negros Oriental, the agricultural hubs in Central Visayas.
In a statement Friday, Rojen Austria, DA-PhilRice Central Visayas coordinator, said the inbred rice seeds have been delivered to the different municipalities as part of the Seed Program of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF). The two provinces are RCEF covered areas.
The RCEF program is a six-year government initiative to help the farmers compete in the international rice market.
In Bohol, the municipalities that have been included in the seed allocation are San Miguel, Catigbian and Cortes.
In Negros Oriental, the beneficiaries include the cities of Bayawan, Guihulngan, Canlaon, Bais and Tanjay, and municipalities of Sta. Catalina, Mabinay, Jimalalud, La Libertad, Bindoy, Tayasan and Ayunong.
Austria said the inbred seeds distributed to the farmers are NSIC Rc 222 and NSIC Rc480. Each bag contains 20 kilograms of the recommended inbred rice varieties.
He said Bohol has a total allocation of 35,970 bags with a total area coverage of 17,985 hectares, benefiting 14,388 farmers.
“In Negros Oriental, it has a total allocation of 10,830 bags for a total area coverage of 5,415 hectares with 4,332 farmer beneficiaries,” he added.
PhilRice is the lead implementer of the RCEF-Seed Program which is a component of Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte that allocates PHP10 billion fund every year intended for the rice farmers.
It is a government corporate entity under the DA that is mandated to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so Filipino rice farmers can increase their yield. (PNA)