Ifugao adopts Palay Check rice farming system
by Dan B. Codamon
Lagawe, Ifugao (28 February) -- To increase its rice production level and in pursuant to Republic Act 8435 otherwise known as the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997, Ifugao is now adopting this year the so-called Palay Check system of rice farming.
Palay Check is a dynamic rice crop management system that presents the best key technology and management practices as key check, compare results of farmer practices with key checks and facilitates learning through farmers group to sustain improvements in productivity, profitability and environment safety.
This is patterned after the rice check, a rice integrated crop management system successfully developed and used in Australia which helped increase their rice yields.
According to researches conducted by the PhilRice, International Rice Research Institute and other members of the rice research and development network, there are two ways of increasing rice production levels.
One is by increasing the yield ceiling through the development of new plant types and hybrid rice under optimum crop management and favorable environment and the other is to narrow the yield gap through improved irrigation and crop management practices.
They said that it takes time to develop new varieties more productive than what is available at present so that the more plausible option in many areas of the Philippines to increase rice production is to improve crop management through this so-called Palay Check.
The Palay Check system will be pilot tested in the municipalities of Lagawe, Kiangan, Alfonso Lista and Lamut and if successful the interventions will be determined for its expansion to the rest of the towns of Ifugao with the assistance of the provincial government through the Provincial Agriculture Office.
Palay check observes six principles which the farmers must understand and be guided with which include that rice growing is a total production system and integrated management system is essential as each single practice and output interacts with other practices and affects a range of outputs of management that ultimately combine to give the yield, grain quality and environmental outcomes.
The management inputs are different from the management outputs so that management inputs must achieve optimum level of outputs at all growth stages and management areas to achieve optimum yields and other outcomes. Also some management outputs or results of practices are more important than others in managing the rice crop to achieve improved yield and other outcomes.
Another principle is that management can only be effectively evaluated by comparing or checking the outputs or results of management with the key outputs as benchmarks of the original objectives of that management.
The fifth is the strengths and weaknesses of farm management must be identified and recognized by the farmer before these can be changed and the sixth is that Palay Check must be learned by farmers and an effective learning forum is through the farmer group which facilitates farmer participation in a collaborative learning environment. (PIA Ifugao) [top]