16 State Universities Sign Up for Rice Seed Production

Article excerpt

Sixteen state universities and colleges (SUCs) have signed up for an inbred rice seed production program of the Department of Agriculture (DA). The program, which is targeted to cover 200 hectares, will be both a job generating venture and one that will support government 's Food Self Sufficiency Program (FSSP) and eventually rice export program. Budget allocation is P50,000 per hectare.

Through the production of certified seeds from parental seeds to be provided by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PHilrice), the seed production is expected to generate an income of P150,000 per hectare to SUC agriculturists, students, and farmer-help.

This is at a projected seed yield of five metric tons (MT) or 5,000 kilos per hectare at P30 per kilo. Net income is expected at P100,000 per hectare.

"Our SUCs are good in agriculture. They are the experts we need (in seed production), " said DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala in a press briefing over the weekend.

The seed production program initially covers seed supply for the dry season and wet season of 2014. It will involve an entire rice value chain.

It will empower rural farmers through technology to be provided by DA through high-yielding inbred seeds, irrigation, fertilizer, and integrated pest management.

SUCs are required to give back only 80 kilos to DA in exchange for DA's P50,000 grant. Any excess seed production will be for their own profit-generation.

They will also be tasked to distribute the 80 kilos to farmers within their immediate cluster areas. …