Forty-six out of the 57 target provinces have already received 341,203 bags (20kg/bag) of inbred rice seeds under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Seed Program as of recent data release by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice).
The 46 provinces, which make up 81 percent of the accomplishment, include 282 municipalities and cities with high-potential for competitiveness in rice production.
“The provinces have been identified based on the size of area harvested, yield level, cost of production, and share of irrigated area. These municipalities and cities have an annual area planted of more than 500 hectares for dry season 2019-2020,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
Seed distribution is ongoing to cover the remaining 11 provinces including 703 municipalities/cities. The remaining 1,766,805 bags of seeds are scheduled for distribution this 2019-2020 dry season. DA-PhilRice has already contracted out 97 percent of the seed requirement for this cropping period.
“The two-million bags of certified seeds will translate to planting around one million hectares of rice land which can contribute to increasing the yield up to six tons per hectare in high-yielding provinces by 2024,” Dar said.
Among the rice seed varieties distributed include NSIC Rc 160, Rc 216, Rc 222, and two location-specific inbred varieties.