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Implementation of ₱8.5-B rice resiliency project starts

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

It is crunch time for the Department of Agriculture (DA) in terms of the implementation of rice resiliency project (RRP), a program that recently received a budget of ₱8.5 billion from the national government and the agency’s top measure to send the Philippines to 93 percent rice self-sufficiency in the time of COVID-19.

Department of Agriculture

Department of Agriculture

Starting this week, the Department of Agriculture (DA) will distribute seeds and fertilizers for free to rice farmers who are starting the 2020 wet cropping season to further boost the country’s rice production.

The DA is now targeting to achieve palay output of as much as 22.12 million metric tons (MT), equivalent to 13.51 million MT of rice. This would bring the country’s rice self-sufficiency to 93 percent from 87 percent last year. If achieved, this would also be the country’s highest palay output in at least a decade.

The problem, according to Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) National Manager Raul Montemayor, is that the country traditionally has lower yield during the wet cropping season, pulling down annual rice stocks toward the third quarter of the year.

Nevertheless, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said the DA is now trying to act as fast as it can, saying that the full implementation of the RRP, which will cover 16 rice producing regions in the country, will begin as soon as next week.

“Achieving high productivity in rice entails an integrated system of crop management. The fastest moving interventions that could provide quick results are the use of quality seeds and appropriate fertilizers. Hence, the RRP will provide said farm inputs to participating farmers,” Dar said.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Operations Andrew Villacorta said the DA will distribute inbred and hybrid rice seeds with fertilizers to both rainfed and irrigated areas, on top of those being distributed under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), which is a component of Rice Tariffication Law.

According to him, the recipients of RRP will receive seeds according to the size of their farmland and fertilizers at two bags per hectare (/ha) for inbred and three bags /ha for hybrid areas.

If the farmer’s total area exceeds the maximum three-hectare coverage under RCEF, the excess areas may be covered under the RRP.

“Our main idea here is to expand production areas to eventually increase the volume of output. This is something that we critically need to combat the threat of hunger amid the ‘new normal’ in global food production,” Dar said.

The DA reiterates its call for farmers to register in the Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) to benefit from the aforementioned programs.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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