Cluster farming, introduction of high yielding rice varieties, continuous training, provision of more support services, and additional farm mechanization projects.

These and more, according to DA-RFO I’s Regional Executive Director Narciso Edillo are among the DA’s strategies,if only to show that DA cares for the farmers during his recent live interview with the “Aksyon Radyo Patrol” radio program aired over DZNL, Aksyon Radyo, San Fernando City, La Union.

A 30-minute radio program hosted by DZNL’s Senior Announcer, Dominador Dacanay, the radio program provides an avenue for the government agencies to discuss developmental programs and projects and at the same time give updates on the status of the agency’s program implementation.

Baring the current programs and projects that the DA is doing to help farmers increase their production, RED Edillo mentioned in the radio program that DA is currently distributing rice seeds good for 200,000 has. to farmers’ groups and associations in time for the wet cropping season.

With the help of the agricultural extension workers from all the local government units working under the rice program, RED Edillo said that DA was able to identify the beneficiaries of the distributed rice seed varieties.

With the DA’s focus of not only increasing the production and yield of the major staple to attain the country’s target on food sufficiency but also increase the income of farmers, RED Edillo finds the need to introduce more hybrid rice varieties as seed materials which was already proven to increase around 20-30% production compared to the conventional inbred varieties.

He underscored the essence of cluster farming where 10-100 hectares production areas are clustered together so that members of organized farmers group and associations will have to plant simultaneously, plant the same variety and apply rice production management consistently.

Asked on how the present administration differs from the previous administration when it comes to program implementation, Dir. Edillo mentioned the new policy on farmers’ equity to avail of the farm machineries and equipment under the DA’s Farm Mechanization Program.

In the past administration, RED Edillo said that DA requires farmer groups and associations to provide 10-15% equity in availing farm machineries and equipment like the tractor while now on the current administration, these farm machineries and equipment are given as grant.

To complete the food production support needs of the farmers, DA as mentioned by Director Edillo will continue to conduct Farmer Field Schools to teach farmers on the latest technologies on rice production and vowed to support the presence of the Local Farmer Technicians in the community who are providing extension activities to areas with minimal interventions from their agricultural extension workers.

Supporting RED Edillo in advocating the programs and projects of DA through the radio program is RTD for Research and Regulations, Ms. Erlinda F. Manipon.

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