DA, Mindoro Occ. to Share Rice Cost

Article excerpt

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has entered a cost-sharing agreement with Occidental Mindoro for the new planting of rice on 5,675 hectares during the "Palagad" off season which brings to an extraordinary three seasons Mindoros rice planting in a year that is seen to bring an added net income of P297.94 million.

Josephine R. Sato, Occidental Mindoro governor, said in a business presentation that DA has committed an investment of P5.2 million out of a total of P14.187-million budget sharing arrangement with the Mindoro local government unit (LGU) while farmers counterpart will be P1.143 million.

The palagad rice cropping, also sometimes called a "singit" crop, adds one cropping in between the wet season of 2005 (normally May to October 2005) and next years dry season planting (normally November to April 2006). Since rice is a 110 to 120-day crop, it can actually be planted three times in a year.

However, many rain-fed areas in the country cannot plant rice since water is only available during the wet season.

Under this schedule for Occidental Mindoro, wet season 2005 sowing started in June with crop harvested in October this year, the palagad sowing starts in September this year with the crop harvested in January 2006, and the dry season sowing starts in December 2005 whose crop will be harvested in April 2006.

With an estimated 5.5 metric tons (MT) per hectare yield, the additional cropping will bring an incremental unmilled rice production of 31,213 MT valued at P312.13 million at a farm-gate price of P10 per kilo. The program is allocating a total of P3.688 million for certified seeds, P1.702 million for fertilizer zinc sulfate, P1.7 million for Bio-N fertilization technology, and P1.093 million for organic fertilizer.

On a per hectare basis, cost for certified seeds is at P650; zinc sulfate, P300; Bio N, 300; and organic fertilizers, P1,250.

Occidental Mindoro is considered to be among the most suitable areas for rice planting as some hybrid rice farmers have achieved a yield here of more than 14 MT per hectare. …