By: Sheila Mae H. Toreno
Agriculture secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol told farmers of Panay and Guimaras provinces during his recent Biyaheng Bukid that a financing program is available to hybrid rice farmers.
Rice farmers will no longer run to private lenders and pay high interest rate to finance their farm. Under the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) of Department of Agriculture, rice farmers could loan up to P25, 000 per hectare, without collateral and with only six percent interest rate per annum.
“Ang inyo nga interest sa P25,000 sa isa ka tuig is only P1,500 nga makadto man sa inyo kooperatiba nga amu ang ma-handle sang inyo pautang,” Piñol explained.
One bag of hybrid rice seeds costs around P3,500 to P5,000 while certified seeds is priced at P1,368 per bag. Sufficient water and fertilizer is needed to obtain high palay production using hybrid seeds. But a farmer could earn as much as P200,000 using the high yielding varieties compared to P80,000 using farmers’ good seeds.
Hybrid rice utilization in Iloilo is only four percent, thus the average yield of palay is only 3.37 metric tons per hectare. Piñol linked the low production to the absence of financing for farmers to buy quality seeds and appropriate fertilizers.
“Ang inyo nga palay tubtob 4 tonelada lang ang sarang mapatubas kada ektarya. Maski ano pa nga bubo niyo sang abono, maski anu pa himuon niyo, ang iya genetics is only four metric tons per hectare,” he said.
Piñol reiterated that hybrid rice varieties produces higher yield under ideal condition and adoption of proper production protocol.
Piñol said farmers could reach a yield of up to 15 metric tons per hectare using hybrid rice seeds.
“Sa Nueva Ecija ang paggamit sang hybrid is almost 60 percent. Ang mangunguma sang palay didto kun 10 metric tons per hectare lang ang patubas, gapa-ulong-ulong pa kay gusto niya 12,” he shared.
He encouraged farmers in Region 6 to increase their yield to at least six metric tons per hectare using hybrid rice seeds.
Rodil Parcon of Brgy. Dapitan, Pototan, Iloilo recorded the highest yield of 16 metric tons per hectare in the Philippines.
Piñol said the DA will no longer distribute seed subsidies due to the long procurement process that oftentimes lead to the late delivery of inputs for the planting season.
The DA chief emphasized that in order for farmers to avail of the PLEA program, they should use hybrid rice seeds. The DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council will give orientation on PLEA and will issue the identification and monitoring cards to the farmers. (DA6Information)