Tagudin, Ilocos Sur – Fertilizer recommendations based on Minus-One Element Technique (MOET) analysis is expected to help farmers here reduce their fertilizer expenses.
The recommendations, according to Bethzaida M. Catudan, focal person of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) – Seed Program in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, are generated for provinces covered by the program to complement the certified inbred seeds distributed to the farmers.
Fernando Borje of Brgy. Bitalag shared that his fertilizer application practices were costly; however, he was unsure if he was applying the right amount and types of fertilizer.
“In our years of farming, we did not have any gauge in knowing if the amount we’re giving to the plants is less or too much. We have also attended many seminars on rice farming, but it’s only now that we learned about MOET. May this tool and the knowledge we gained lessen our expenses and increase our yield and income,” he said.
Jocelyn Lavara, municipal agriculturist of Tagudin, is grateful that the municipality was chosen as one of the initial project sites.
“We are thankful for this project, especially now that fertilizer prices are high,” she said.
The RCEF-Seed Program is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law signed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, which allots P10 billion funds every year for the rice farmers from the rice tariff earnings of the country. Sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Villar, the program is a six-year government initiative to help farmers compete in the international rice market. The local government units and lawmakers assist in its implementation.
DA-PhilRice leads the RCEF-Seed Program and is the government’s lead agency on rice research and development mandated to help ensure a rice-secure Philippines. With eight stations across the country, its programs and projects align with the DA’s “Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita” battle cry. (Franzel Monique Bonilla, PhilRice)