KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, May 22 (PIA) - SOCCSKSARGEN Region's Department of Agriculture (DA 12) is fast-tracking the distribution of free seeds and fertilizers to rice growers in time for the wet season planting, an official of the department announced Thursday.
Regional Executive Director Arlan Mangelen announced during the Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19 Rice Resiliency Program (RRP) launching in South Cotabato that DA has prepared at least 10,000 bags of inbred rice seeds and 28,074 bags of hybrid rice seeds as subsidy to farmers in Region 12 specifically for the RRP.
Mangelen said that under the RRP, a farmer beneficiary will be given 1 bag of rice seeds - either hybrid or certified depending on the farmer's preference - for every hectare of production area. "We have hastened the release of rice seeds subsidy since the cropping season has already started."
Apart from free seeds, DA is also giving out fertilizers at rate of 3 bags per bag of hybrid seeds and 2 bags for per bag of inbred seeds released.
Farmer beneficiaries will also receive pesticides as well as insurance coverage from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).
Besides the technical assistance from the Department of Agriculture, farmer recipients will also be guided by technicians from the seed suppliers to ensure maximum yield.
"Rice Resiliency Program is in line with the Department's Plant, Plant Plant Program. We are giving out seeds (and other production support) to increase production and sustain the demand for food in the region," Mangelen said.
He added that the need for sufficient food as a means to survival is highlighted by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
"Our programs to achieve food availability, food accessibility, and food production will only be successful with your help," he told farmers during the program launching.
Identification of the beneficiaries for the RRP was lodged with the municipal or city agriculture office as well as the local agriculture and fishery councils backed by the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), he said.
RED Mangelen advised farmers who are not yet registered with the RSBSA to coordinate with their local agriculture office for their inclusion in the database.
He said farmers who are not yet listed in the RSBSA may still avail of "over-the-counter" assistance from DA but noted that these assistance are very limited.
Information from DA 12 indicated that a total of P535.9 million has been earmarked for the Rice Resiliency Program for the wet season planting. (DED-PIA- XII)