PhilRice team visits Samar, orients rice extension workers
By Ninfa B Quirante
Catbalogan City (February 6) -- A team of PhilRice experts along with personnel from the Department of Agriculture (DA) visited Samar today and oriented some 40 rice extension workers (REWs) on science and technology updates on rice farming.
They also distributed learning kits to 17 Municipal Agriculturists and some 23 agricultural technicians (ATs) at the WeSamar office, Capitol, Catbalogan City.
The kits contain useful and helpful information materials and gadgets that the rice extension workers can use in their daily field work, which is to educate farmers.
An initiative of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in support of its Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture (OpAPA) program and the GMA-Rice Program of the Department of Agriculture, the extension kit is hoped to help REWs disseminate current technology information that could make rice farmers produce more rice and earn more income.
The group of young experts from PhilRice Negros said they had been to N. Samar yesterday and would also be visiting the capital city of Eastern Samar, Borongan tomorrow.
Jose Arnel Cordova, a member of the team said they have been all over the country since November to instill awareness on the importance of rice to the Filipinos.
While a DA-RFU personnel hailed the province for its increasing growth rate in rice production in 2007 of 5.07% as growth rate, it still posts rice sufficiency of only 48%.
Romeo Reales, OIC Provincial Agriculturist has a different data though, he said rice sufficiency in Samar has reached 54.88% last year.
Although the figures differ, one thing is sure, rice growth in Samar is increasing, said one agriculturist.
However, the gap on production and consumption remains wide and it would take a cohesive effort from both the national and the local government units to attain a level of sufficiency, said the DA personnel. (PIA-Samar) [top]