For four months, Region 1 farmers were schooled on the latest technologies on hybrid rice production via DA-RFO1’s radio program “Oras ng Magsasaka.” This set-up is dubbed as School-on-the-Air (SOA) – a practice that has been adapted by DA since decades ago.

Five radio stations were tapped by the DA-RFO1 thru the Regional Agriculture & Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS) to air series of topics on hybrid rice production technology targetting 300 farmer listeners in the whole region who have enrolled in the program.

From among the 300 enrollees, Top 10 from each provinces were recognized based on their total final scores from the exams given by the SOA farmcaster at every lesson/topic discussed on air.

The graduation ceremony for the provinces of La Union & Pangasinan was held at DA-RFO I Conference hall on November 20, 2020 while graduation ceremony for the provinces of Ilocos Norte & Ilocos Sur is set on November 26 & 27 respectively.

Awards given to the Outstanding graduates include P5,000 in cash for the first honor with tablet plus plaque of recognition. The second honor received P3,000 in cash, cellphone, and plaque of recognition while the 3rd honor received P2,000 in cash and plaque of recognition. Top 4-10 received P1,000 each plus their certificate of recognition. All graduates are also given additional incentives such as jacket, cap and 1 bag each of hybrid rice seeds with their certificates.

The SOA on Hybrid Rice was strategized to help in the DA’s goal of increasing rice farmers’ productivity and attain higher rice sufficiency level to at least 93%.

Despite the popularity of the internet, SOA radio programs still play an important role at present in empowering and informing farmers especially those who are residing in farflung areas where radio is more effective in bringing them latest news, information and updates from the government.##

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