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PIA Press Release

DA's "Quick Turn-Around" scheme exceeds target

Manila (19 September) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) through the GMA Rice Program has implemented a Quick Turn-Around (QTA) planting scheme in certain areas to mitigate the impact of on rice harvest of the dry spell that scorched some parts of Luzon recently.

Reports submitted by the DA-Regional Field Units as of September 15 showed that there is already a 95% planting accomplishment in the QTA areas. Out of the target area of 88,174 hectares, a total of 99,217 ha have been planted to rice since the program started on Aug. 1.

"I am happy to report that we surpass our planting targets for the QTA," GMA National Rice Program Director Frisco Malabananan said.

Region 12 led the QTA planting with 33,858 ha. followed by Region 10 with 13,604 ha and Region 6 with 12,043 ha. As well as other Regions like Regions 1, 4-A&B, 5,7,8,9, 11, 13, ARMM also conducted QTA.

The QTA uses early-maturing seeds in fully irrigated areas, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao, to recoup lost rice output due to damage caused by the dry spell in Luzon.

For this scheme, hybrid and certified inbred seeds were sold to farmers at subsidized prices of P50.00/kg and P440.00/40kg, respectively.

"I am very heartened by the result given to me by our operation group in the QTA. I am ordering greater coordination not only with the LGUs and the Irrigators Associations but the BAS and the national program coordinator as well to ensure we can capture the data and this can be credited to the selfless effort of our farmers," DA Secretary Arthur Yap said.

Good seeds were also used owing to the limited supply of hybrid and certified inbred seeds. These good seeds were procured at P730.00 per bag (40kg) or P18.25/kg and were given to farmers as grants. The good seeds were produced by accredited seed growers from fields planted to registered or certified seeds at 80% germination, 97% purity, and 14% moisture content. Its maximum number of bags per seed lot was 200 bags. The procurement of good seeds was limited to this 2007 QTA period.

The regional offices are regularly monitoring the development of these QTA areas to ensure the attainment of the targeted production of about 300,000 metric tons (mt). With more areas planted under the QTA, the projected rice production could reach 350,000 mt.

With QTA output plus current buffer stocks in the warehouses of the National Food Authority, the DA is confident that the rice supply will be enough until the end of 2007 despite the dry spell.

The QTA planting scheme will not only help the DA reach move closer to its goal of national palay production of 16.23 million mt for 2007 despite the dry spell, but will also benefit of rice farmers and their families. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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