ILOILO CITY (PIA) - - The Department of Agriculture Western Visayas (DA-WV) will commence the airing of its Palay Eskwelahan: School On-Air (SOA) focusing on Smart Rice Agriculture (SRA) on May 17, 2022.
DA-WV Regional Information Officer James Earl Ogatis said some 7,000 farmers in the region are expected to enroll in the radio-based distance learning program which will be implemented in collaboration with Agricultural Training Institute, Philippine Rice Research Institute, PhilMech and local government units (LGUs).
"The SOA-SRA intends to equip learners with the entire rice value chain featuring innovative approaches and modern and climate-smart rice production technologies,” said Ogatis.
The agency has teamed up with RMN-Iloilo for the airing of the ‘distance course’ from 3:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. for three months. The program can also be accessed through Department Agriculture - Western Visayas facebook page and Ani at Kita Western Visayas YouTube channel.
Ogatis urged seed recipients of the agency’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) in the region to participate in the SOA-SRA for additional information and guidance on new technologies that will help increase their yield.
Under the RCEF, DA WV reported that PhilRice Negros has rolled out the distribution of certified inbred seeds to five provinces (Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras and Negros Occidental) of the region.
It must be noted that the province of Iloilo is the recipient of the hybridization program of the department.
PhilRice has also apportioned 194,280 bags of certified inbred seeds for Panay farmers this wet planting season.
The allotted seeds will be planted in at least 97,000 hectares of target farms.
Farmers listed in the Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture will have access to high-yielding inbred seeds such as NSIC Rc 222, NSIC Rc 216, NSIC Rc 480, and PSB Rc10 projected to level up harvests and reduce the cost of producing rice.
Based on the guidelines, PhilRice will provide qualified farmers with one bag of inbred seeds at 20 kilograms per bag for every half a hectare farm.
Meanwhile, PhilRice has begun to roll-out ‘Abonong Swak’ Campaign in Panay Island. The campaign supports the agency’s Balanced Fertilization Strategy, highlighting the importance of combining organic and inorganic fertilizer to reduce production costs while ensuring yield.
The info drive, which was initiated in low-yielding provinces, will also put up demonstration sites nationwide to showcase the Abonong Swak technology.
With the ‘Abonong Swak’ technology, farmers are expected to save P2,000 to P4,000 a hectare. (DA6/laf/PIA6-Iloilo)