BATAC CITY — To popularize the adoption of newly developed crop seeds to address food security, the Mariano Marcos State University-Extension Directorate in collaboration with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) said interested farmers can now avail of the rice dispersal project.
Mercy Gaño of the MMSU-Extension Directorate announced on Wednesday that rice farmers who may wish to plant these new and high quality seeds may just write a letter address to Dr. Prima Fe Franco, OIC President and duly endorsed by their respective municipal mayor.
According to Gaño, the Rice Seed Stock Dispersal Project (SDP) is one of the flagship programs of the university which allows farmers to invest in good seeds and get the maximum benefit.
In 2000, the SDP integrated in its scheme additional strategies that include: crop insurance, financial counter-parting with cooperators, bio-organic farming, participatory monitoring and evaluation, marketing assistance, and inter-crop loan repayment plan.
The SDP provides interest-free loan of new and promising crop seeds with the corresponding but “proportionate” material input support to qualified farmers.
Inspired by the positive impacts of the Seed Stock Dispersal Program as manifested by the beneficiaries being able to gain new knowledge in farming, develop responsibilities in environmental protection and conservation, enhance self-confidence in the use of improved farm practices, and build leadership capabilities in leading their fellow farmers, the program is being intensified yearly by providing interest-free farm inputs to farmers.
Along with the SDP, MMSU has also its seed production project in partnership with accredited seed rice producers in the province. While showcasing the latest rice technologies, the project also provide steady and sustained seed materials for farmer-beneficiaries and seed growers in Ilocos Norte and nearby provinces.
The program also serves as a technology demonstration of proper cultural management such as seedling production, transplanting, rouging, weeding, harvesting, drying, processing and warehousing of clean seeds.
For example, in a three hectare area, inbred rice seeds of various varieties are produced. As a compliment project of the rice SDP, the cooperators are given the choice of which variety to plant which is best suited in their farms.
To ensure good quality of seeds produced, seed materials produced were sourced out from PhilRice. Seeds were selected based on the most preferred by the clients and the most suited varieties in the province.
Seed quality testing and tagging by the Seed Quality Control Services of the DA is conducted right after harvest ready for disperse to interested group in Ilocos Norte.
Farmer applicants are also required to undergo pre-dispersal training to qualify to the seedstock dispersal project. PNA/northboundasia.com