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PIA Press Release

Legazpi City supports hybrid rice program

by VF Idaño

LEGAZPI CITY (17 August) -— In support to the government’s hybrid rice program, the Legazpi City government has offered a complete production package to farmers involved in the city’s hybrid rice production lane project.

City Agriculturist Jess Kallos said the assistance package include seeds, fertilizer, training, farm machineries, and marketing.

Production inputs are payable in kind after harvest except for crop insurance, also part of the package, which is shouldered by the city government. “In areas where water is minimal, shallow-tube wells will be installed.”

Kallos explained all the programmed areas that runs from Legazpi City to Tabaco City were subjected to soil analysis to determine the right and appropriate fertilizer requirement. Areas were divided into 3 lanes — lane 1 comprises 6 barangays and covers 35 hectares; lane 2 - 6 barangays and 25 has.; lane 3 - 11 barangays and 14 has., for a total of 74 hectares planted to Mestizo 1 hybrid rice variety.

From these areas “we expect to attain our production target of 110 cavans per hectare,” Kallos added.

The city agriculturist also said his office has assigned two agricultural technicians per barangay to closely supervise the farmers and has used the E-farm computer program to facilitate monitoring of the activities in the farm.

According to Kallos, the city government has already infused P500,000 for seeds and inputs for the 74 hectares currently planted to hybrid rice. He said the farmers’ payment in kind is tied-up with the Legazpi City Employees Union and the Albay Bankers Association which shall buy the produce already in rice form.

Kallos also bared that with hybrid sweet corn as the city’s banner crop, “we would like to establish a name for Legazpi as the city of sweet corn.” In other development, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) thru the national leadership of the P4MP has extended a P10,000 start-up financial assistance to the mushroom production project of the P4MP in Daraga, Albay.

The turn-over of check was done during the P4MP Luzonwide consultative meeting cum skills training on mushroom production and nature farming systems technology held at ATI, Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry in Guinobatan, Albay.

During the meeting — Fidel Orense, P4MP national president, said the P4MP officers and coordinators from Regions 1 to 6 and the Cordillera Autonomous Region planned out the activities for the national convention in Cagayan de Oro City in 2006.

Also reviewed and discussed were the memorandum of agreement regarding the livelihood project and the registration of other P4MP.

According to Orense starting this year, all regional P4MP presidents with Securities an Exchange Commission (SEC) registration and the regional coordinators will be given an insurance cover of P500,000 an P200,000 respectively. Todate, 8 regional P4MP are registered with the SEC.

Orense said P4MP is indorsing the mushroom culture project among its members because of its high market potential and the availability of raw materials and supports organic farming or the use of nature farming systems. (DA) [top]

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