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Visayas farmers get Philrice-certified seeds from Bohol

With the introduction and availability of certified in-bred rice seeds, Bohol farmers are slowly realizing that they have fields of gold. With the adoption of the high yielding seeds alone, the average yield has drastically increased, translating to increased profits. (PIA Bohol)

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol (PIA) -- Due to its high quality, yield potential, and resilience of certified rice seeds produced by Boholano farmers these are now being distributed to their counterparts in Central and Eastern Visayas. 

Through the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) quality seeds distribution program, these certified inbred seeds produced by seed growers are now being consolidated by the Bohol Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (BOFAMCO) for distribution across the two regions.

This was bared by Lorebien Lagapa, provincial seed coordinator of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) during the recent Kapihan sa PIA which was streamed live over the Facebook page and Youtube channel of the Philippine Information Agency Bohol as well as aired over dyTR AM. 

The inbred rice seeds have been tested as heat-resistant and are proven to be suitable for rain-fed farms.

“They are produced by 75 Boholano seed growers whose seed growing processes have been accredited by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) through the National Seed Control Services,” said Lagapa.

Bohol-grown seeds, which have been used by PhilRice in its quality seeds distribution program, are now opening new horizons for farmer scientists who are benefiting from the seeds they produce rather than selling it to traders for milling. (PIA Bohol/Photo from Office of the Provincial Agriculture)

In the same program, Department of Agriculture Provincial Agricultural Technology Coordination Office Rice Action Officer Ma. Chona Maleza said the farmer-scientists underwent rigorous training and retooling seminars to ensure they do the processes right and get the best seeds that the region would need to address the rice production gap in areas beyond the reach of irrigation facilities.  

For years, Boholanos have been growing their inbred seeds, carefully selecting the best quality seeds and producing better generations of these seeds to increase yield in rainfed areas, which have been producing low harvests. 

As the farmers ready their seeds for certification, the Bureau of Plant Industry tests the seeds to validate the claims before issuing a certification and accreditation to the farmers for the seeds they produced.

In Bohol, seed growers sell their inbred certified seeds at a better price than the rice for milling, adding huge value to the hard work they commit in farming. 

In September 2023, PhilRice recognized Bohol for its Outstanding Rice Seed program in the implementation of its Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund Program. 

Bohol Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado promised to provide more funds for rice production and technologies, to help boost the province’s claim as the “rice basket” for the Visayas. 

During the time of former governor Erico Aumentado, the father of the current governor, Bohol attained a rice sufficiency level of over 100 percent. 

Lagapa also bared that the RCEF Program in Bohol has benefited 29,237 farmers who received the quality certified rice seeds at around 45,830 bags of 20 kgs each.

According to DA, once planted, these seeds produce a yield of 3.6 metric tons (MT) per hectare and are still increasing. 

“Inbred rice growers then get 2 MT per hectare,” said Cecile Opada, DA-7 rice report officer. 

“Moreover, these inbred rice seeds have been monitored to give farmers a yield of at least 5 metric tons per hectare,” she reported. 

Coupled with proper timing in fertilizer application and crop care, farmers here are expecting even higher yields.

The agriculture department’s 2023 budget priority in production support services will double to P500 million in 2024, and this would be for the allocation of seeds, farm inputs, and farm machineries aimed at achieving rice self-sufficiency in Bohol and in the region, DA Assistant Secretary for the Visayas Atty. Salvador Diputado said. 

Bohol is currently supplying over 70 percent of the demand for rice in Central Visayas, he added. (RAHC/PIA-7 Bohol)

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Rachelle Nessia

Assistant Regional Head

Region 7

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