At the on-set of rainy season, the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office I (DA-RFO I) through the Rice Banner Program, in tandem with the Bureau of Plant Industry-National Seed Quality Control Services (BPI-NSQCS) convened the rice seed growers in the region for a special meeting to discuss major issues and concerns besetting the rice seed industry.

Participated in by around 15 seed growers in the region together with the Provincial Seed Inspectors, staff of the Rice Banner Program of DA-RFO I led by Dr. Annie Bares, Chief of the Field Operations Division, Ms. Erlinda Manipon, RTD for Operations and DA-RFO I’s Regional Executive Director, 
Lucrecio R. Alviar, Jr.; the special meeting was held today at the DA-RFO I Conference Room, San Fernando City, La Union.

In his message during the meeting, RED Alviar underscored the significant role of the seed growers in the attainment of DA’s major goal on rice self-sufficiency.

Giving emphasis on the result of studies on the use of certified seeds to increase the production per hectare by ½ to one ton as compared to using good seeds, RED Alviar said that there is a need to come-up with an efficient and effective seed system.

By doing so, Director Alviar asked the participants of the meeting to list down the top five most preferred varieties of the farmers per province to serve as basis of the seed growers on what varieties to produce for the next cropping season.
“While we can easily produce certified seeds, we need to know the seed variety preference of the farmers in the region,” Director Alviar said.

He likewise asked the Rice Banner Program to utilize the DA-RFO I’s Research stations in producing the needed registered seeds of the seed growers and instructed the same to source out foundation seeds from PhilRice and IRRI to match the identified rice seed preference of the farmers.

Recognizing the vital role of the seed growers in providing the rice seed requirements of the farmers, RED Alviar also vowed to provide mobile dryers and seed cleaners to active seed growers association helping them facilitate their seed growing operations.

Further, he noted the importance of conducting re-tooling and re-training of seed growers to enhance further their knowledge and skills in rice seed production. He also called for the renewal of the seed growers’ accreditation from the Bureau of Plant and Industry to ensure high quality of their rice produce.

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