The Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) has produced competitive farmers in its more than 200 farm schools across the country since the implementation of its Rice Extension Services Program (RESP) in 2019.
“In the pursuit of increased productivity and income in the agriculture sector, we recognize that continuous education of our farmers is key, and we’re committed to providing them with the necessary resources and support,” Dr. Remelyn Recoter, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) director and RESP chair said.
Scholarships were given to about 200,000 agricultural extension workers and farmer-leaders, who also trained the same number of farmer-graduates on high quality inbred rice, seed certification, and farm mechanization.
Danilo Devis of Narra, Palawan said the attack of rice pests in their farm communities was reduced by applying the knowledge they learned from RCEF’s Farmer Field School (FFS).
“We are now practicing synchronous planting, which we learned from FFS. Through this practice, overlapping incidences of insect and disease populations are avoided,” the 48-year-old farmer said.
Members of Narra Farmers’ Association also shifted to broadcasting 60-80kg of seeds from the usual 120kg, which resulted in healthy seedlings and plants’ uniform growth.
With the good practices from RCEF training, Rizal Gathchalian said that his yield doubled from 4.7t/ha to 8.3t/ha.
Meanwhile, more than 500 titles of IEC materials were produced at more than 5M copies distributed nationwide.
Caravans, technical briefings, PalayAralan, and E-talakayan were also conducted, reaching about 2M farmers.
RESP is implemented by ATI, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, Philippine Rice Research Institute, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. (ATI, DA-PhilRice)