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PIA Press Release
2010/01/14

Antique to produce tungro resistant rice varieties, intensifies fisherfolk livelihoods

San Jose, Antique (14 January) -- The tungro infestation that hit the province last year covering a total of 500 hectares has prompted the office of the Provincial Agriculturist to intensify the production of tungro resistance rice varieties.

Governor Salvacion Z. Perez during the turn-over of Agri-fishery projects to 44 individuals and organizations all over the province said that these projects would help develop the knowledge and capacity of the farmers and fisherfolks.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist(OPA), turned-over a total of 60 bags of registered seeds to seed growers and farmers. These include three tungro resistant palay varieties, NSIC RC 120, 118 and 158.

Supervising Agriculturist and Crops Division Chief, Josephine Manalo said that the 60 bags of palay that were turned-over are projected to yield 2,400 bags of quality seeds. She also bared that the provincial government funded for the provision of three bags of free 14-14-14 fertilizers to the beneficiaries for every bag of registered seed that they will avail. The registered seeds were sold to the said beneficiaries for P1,600.00 per bag.

The beneficiaries were made to sign a memorandum of understanding with the province which compel them to sell their products for seed purposes only and not for milling or consumption.

On the same note, the fisherfolks also had their slice of the pie. Among the projects that were given to them are fresh water tilapia culture, high saline tilapia culture, seaweeds culture, otoshami rehabilitation, long line fishing, and solar salt making in polyethylene plastic.

Provincial Agriculturist Nicolasito Calawag noted that the tilapia culture in the province had improved. This is because of new varieties, introduced for the first time like a high saline tilapia. This has not been made in previous years", Calawag said added. He also bared Antique’s secret industry during dry season – salt making. According to him, in previous years bamboo is being used in salt making, however, with the advent of new technology, better equipments are now available, among these is polyethylene plastic.

"We are anticipating a long dry spell, this is a boon for our salt makers," he said.

On the other hand, Calawag said that the long dry spell that hounds farming in other provinces does not affect the Antiqueño farmers as they can easily shift to other commodities aside from rice. Among these crops are mung beans, corn and peanuts. This adaptability sees them through El Nino and land productivity is not slowed down. (PIO/PIA) [top]

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