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PIA Press Release

DA to grant seed subsidies to Davao Norte farmers

by Noel Baguio

Davao City (27 October) -- The Department of Agriculture, through its Ginintuang Masaganang Ani Rice Program (GMARP) is granting seed subsidies to rice farmers of Davao del Norte for the next dry-season cropping.

DA-RFU-XI Crop Division Chief Norlito Agduyeng cited the need to provide seed subsidies to farmers in order to achieve not only rice self-sufficiency, but more importantly to generate a surplus to help cushion the predicted rice shortage in the country early next year.

Massive agricultural damage in Luzon caused by tropical typhoons'Ondoy' and'Pepeng', which officials estimate reaching around P20 billion, is expected to affect the country's rice supply in 2010.

Agduyeng bared Davao del Norte and other provinces in the Davao Region were supposedly not included in the seed component of the government's F.I.E.L.D.S. program anymore, as the region generated adequate surplus production during the previous cropping seasons.

According to him, the government reconsidered its stand, admitting the LGUs in the region back to the seed program in order to generate more production necessary to help prevent food shortage in the country.

Aside from the provision of subsidies in the procurement of hybrid and inbred certified seeds, Agduyeng mentioned other interventions including the provision of credit for production inputs, as well as post harvest equipment.

According to him, the seed subsidies will encourage more farmers to plant hybrid-yielding inbred seed varieties, as the program addresses the perceived high cost of hybrid and inbred certified seed production and.

An agriculture official bared in order to qualify for the program, a farmer beneficiary must be actually tilling the land, regardless of ownership or tilling agreement with the true owner of the land, provided that he undergoes some important technical briefing.

Agduyeng said for the farmers of the Davao region, the amount of subsidy for all hybrid seeds (FI) variety will be P1,000 per hectare, where the farmers will shoulder the balance of the subsidized amount on their chosen hybrid rice variety.

At the same time, the subsidy for inbred certified seeds (CS) shall be limited to 50 percent or P600 for one bag of certified seed per hectare regardless of the method of planting adopted by the farmer.

Crop Division Chief Engr. Leonilo Patayon of the Provincial Agriculturist Office said the province is targeting some 1000 hectares of irrigated riceland for the FI hybrid seed variety, while there is no limit for the inbred certified seeds. The project is expected to benefit more than 20,000 rice farmers in the province. (Nobags/ DavNor ID) [top]

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