Sixty two-year-old Rodolfo Tibayan from Naic, Cavite saved P20,000 on agricultural inputs from his 1.8-hectare land in the recent cropping season through new farming techniques. He shared that letting his land rest for two to three months before plowing, allowing the rice straws to serve as organic fertilizer, was a big factor.
Tibayan describes himself as a traditional farmer. He usually uses manual plowing and fertilizer application – methods he has known since he started farming 17 years ago.
With the emergence of modern technologies, Tibayan realized that he had to make changes to be able to keep up with the farming industry and increase his rice harvest.
He admitted that he was hesitant to try new farming technologies, especially when trainers are younger than him, because he believed that age equates to knowledge.
Being able to attend the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Extension Services Program (RCEF-RESP) Program training activities in 2019 and reading IEC materials on modern techniques in rice production helped him become more open to accepting new farming technologies.
Other new techniques
Tibayan shared that before, he plows his field one week after harvesting to be able to plant several times in a year and he regularly sprays pesticide. However, he realized that these only harm his land.
Now, he also follows the 40 kg seeding rate per hectare. He observed that since he started following the recommended seeding rate, his crops have a good stand.
Planting high-yielding varieties also increased his harvest. In 2021 WS, he received NSIC Rc 216 from RCEF, which gave him a yield of 180-190 sacks.
Tibayan looks forward to other activities and learnings he will acquire under RCEF. He also encourages other farmers to never stop learning new things about farming and advises them to plan their activities accordingly to be able to achieve high yield.
The RCEF-RESP is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law authored by Sen Cynthia A. Villar. The RTL allocates P1 billion every year to enhance the capacities of rice farmers to become competitive in rice production. For more information about the program, queries can be sent to DA-ATI thru 0920 946 2474.
(Christine Reyes, PhilRice)