Senator Cynthia Villar said the law enacted to protect local farmers after the expiration of the quantitative restriction on rice importation, will enable farmers to raise their incomes and yields through the use of certified inbred seeds.
Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, said Republic Act 11203 which created the P10 billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), also allocated P3 billion for the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) to teach farmers how to produce and propagate inbred rice seeds.
“With inbred seeds, we will be able to bring up the harvest to 6 metric hectares.”
“At present, we only produce 4 metric tons of rice per hectare. With these inbred seeds, we will be able to bring up the harvest to 6 metric tons per hectare in the process, raising also the incomes of our rice farmers,” the veteran legislator said.
The seasoned lawmaker also said the law provides local rice farmers with the opportunity to become seed growers engaged in trade because they will be taught to produce and propagate their own seeds.
“They will grow their own seeds and they can also sell them.”
“This will be one less expense for our farmers because they don’t have to buy seeds every cropping season. They will grow their own seeds and they can also sell them, ” the lady senator added.
Villar said this program under RCEF is separate from the Department of Agriculture’s program on hybrid rice.
The law also allocated P100 million to PhilRice to lead in the training of trainors who will teach farmers rice crop production and modern rice farming techniques, she added.