SAN MATEO, Rizal - Adoption of rice farming technologies was at the forefront of the discussion during the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund - Rice Extension Services Program (RCEF-RESP) Midyear Assessment.
Implementing agencies of the RCEF-RESP convened for a three-day activity to review their accomplishments for the past semester and the emerging outcomes from the first three years of implementation of the program.
Results of the quick survey conducted to determine the adoption rate of farmer-beneficiaries trained in the RCEF farmers field school on the technologies under the four critical crop management areas were presented during the activity.
The study revealed that the average adoption rate of all technologies is at 75%. It was then recommended to craft strategies to increase the adoption rate of the least adopted technologies and practices.
Likewise, it was also found that the average age of farmers trained is 46 years old, which is seven years younger compared to the baseline data average age of 53.
These results, along with the accomplishments of each agency, encouraged the whole group to formulate strategies moving forward including youth engagement, strategic communications, and gender inclusivity. All of these will be done through a unified effort among all implementing agencies.
“The convergence of all these agencies is the key to the achievements of RCEF and, going beyond this, our unified efforts are called for in the new goal of the Department to reduce the cost of rice for consumers and support farmers to increase yield and become competitive in the global market,” RCEF-RESP Chairperson Rosana Mula said.
In addition to the emerging outcomes and accomplishments, all activities were disaggregated into municipal level and organized into maps of the 57 priority provinces of RCEF to show spatial data and resources like Farm Schools.
Through this, areas which are not covered yet were identified and will be prioritized moving forward. This will be done through various approaches maximizing the use of face-to-face and virtual platforms as well as the internet and social media.
“The face-to-face and virtual set-up of capacity building and knowledge-sharing activities enabled rice farmers to discover appropriate and advanced technologies for them to be at par with the international market. Likewise, these also paved a way to explore new strategies towards the professionalization of the industry and maximize the potentials offered by the local rice value chain,” Mula added.
The RCEF-RESP Midyear Assessment was held this August 3-5 at Timberland Highlands Resort, San Mateo, Rizal. This was participated by representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Office of Senator Cynthia Villar, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, Agricultural Training Institute, Bureau of Plant Industry, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.