New Rice Seed Growers Empowered through Comprehensive Training Course

Wed, 02/21/2024 - 18:21


In a proactive step towards empowering rice seed growers, a comprehensive training course was recently conducted, focusing on enhancing knowledge and technical competencies crucial for navigating the dynamic landscape of the rice industry on February 12-16, 2024 at the Agricultural Training Institute – Regional Training Center 02, Malasin, San Mateo, Isabela.

The training aimed to equip the 30 aspiring seed growers with the necessary skills to thrive in the evolving environment shaped by initiatives such as the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program and the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) RA 11203 also known as the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF). The first part of the training was a discussion of the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program. An understanding of the situation of the local rice sector helped participants better appreciate the opportunities that existed within their specific situations. It empowers the seed growers to negotiate through and take advantage of these developments to strengthen their positions as essential players in the rice seed production process. The training also delved into the intricacies of seed selection, with a focus on identifying and explaining the varietal characteristics of newly approved varieties. This knowledge serves as the foundation for seed growers to produce high-quality seeds, a core objective of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund's Seed Component Program.

Cultural practices throughout the different growth stages of the rice plant were emphasized, ensuring that participants were well-versed in the appropriate techniques essential for successful seed production. Additionally, the training covered modern tools and technologies such as the Rice Doctor, Nutrient Manager, Rice Crop Manager, Binhing Palay App, MOET App, and E-Damuhan, empowering seed growers with the latest advancements in the field. Policies and guidelines on seed certification were thoroughly discussed, providing participants with a comprehensive understanding of the standards and mechanisms essential for ensuring the quality and certification of rice seeds. John Vincent Eugenio stated on his impression that he believed that “Agriculture is a profession that feeds the nation”. While he is taking a degree in accountancy, nevertheless, his father pushed him to attend the training where he is the youngest among the participants yet enjoyed the training.

The activity is an offshoot of the interagency meeting on January 12, 2024 attended by representatives from PhilRice Isabela, Bureau of Plant Industry – National Seed Quality Control Services 02, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 02, and the Agricultural Training Institute, focused on coordinating efforts and strategies for the successful implementation of the RCEF's Seed Component Program. During the recent interagency meeting, stakeholders engaged in in-depth discussions on various aspects of the Seed Component Program. Topics included rice seed development, propagation techniques, promotional strategies, and stringent quality control measures.

The collaboration among agencies such as PhilRice, the Bureau of Plant Industry, and the Department of Agriculture was underscored as a crucial factor for the success of initiatives geared towards improving the quality and availability of rice seeds. The interagency cooperation demonstrated a shared determination to tackle the obstacles presented by the more opened up rice trade market. The purpose of the conference was to enable a coordinated and planned approach to navigating the changing terrain formed by the Rice Tariffication Law by bringing together important parties. The Seed Component Program, which makes sure that farmers are prepared to prosper in the face of heightened competition and shifting market dynamics, is a ray of hope for the long-term, sustainable expansion of the Philippine rice industry.