MAASIN CITY– Some 1,361 rice farmers in this city who are enrolled with the Department of Agriculture (DA) registry system received certified seeds in two tranches for the semester-cycled planting sessions.

The city’s Office of Agricultural Services got 600 bags of certified rice seeds from the DA regional office this year, at 300 bags per release, as well as the appropriate fertilizers, through the Rice Competency Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

According to City Agriculturist Virgilia Barrientos during a recent ‘Kapihan sa PIA’ interview, each bag contained 20 kilos at one hectare every two bags, and these were given in pro-rated shares because the farmlands most of the farmers tilled did not surpass a hectare.
Barrientos also reported having received 72 packs of hybrid rice seeds at 3 kilos per pack from the provincial government, with matching fertilizers, which were distributed to rice farmers with irrigated rice lands.

It can be recalled that Governor Damian Mercado, in his State of the Province Address (SOPA) last December 4, reported the distribution of quality rice seeds to farmers in all the 19 local government units of the province through the city/municipal agricultural offices as a food security strategy.

Barrientos explained that both certified and hybrid seed varieties have high-yielding properties, but the certified seeds can fit in rain-fed areas and can be set aside for new crops in the next cropping, while hybrid seeds require irrigated rice fields and another set of planting materials.

During this year’s mid-year harvest, some farmers in barangays Libhu and Bactul had excess supplies that were sold in the DA’s Bagsakan Center for a reduced price than the prevailing market selling price, Barrientos reported. (LDL/MMP/PIA Southern Leyte)