QUEZON CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) gathered the different stakeholders for a series of Cluster Rice Technology Workshops under the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program (MRIDP) intended to boost the productivity and income of the rice farmers in the country.
The activity was participated in by the various stakeholders including farmers, farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCA), private sector, non-government organizations, local government units (LGUs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), and some DA representatives from the national and regional offices.
DA Undersecretary for Rice Industry Development Dr. Leocadio S. Sebastian emphasized the importance of the said activity as part of the strategy under the MRIDP, which focused both on the improvement of production and the whole value chain of the rice industry. He said that “the intervention shall be location-specific to cater to the needs of their respective areas.” With this, Sebastian noted that “the modern technologies should not just be provided but shall be widely scaled for adoption to be able to develop the competitiveness of the Philippine rice industry.”
Highlighting the activity was the presentation of the MRIDP’s four-point strategy to modernize and transform the local rice industry by achieving (1) Resilience and Stability in Climate Change Adaptation; (2) Unity and Convergence in Farm Clustering and Consolidation; (3) Motivated and Enthusiastic Farmer-Entrepreneurs in the Rice Value Chain; and (4) Timeliness and Relevant Focus on Digital Transformation.
Various emerging and mature technologies were likewise presented by the invited resource speakers from the government and private sector that led to the discussion of technologies that were capable of contributing to the target production of 8–14 tons per hectare of palay.
Coincided during the workshops was the "Techno Tiangge," where the invited resource persons, private sector, and other guests showcased their technologies through "tell and sell" of their products and rice farming technologies that can boost the farmers’ yield and income. Likewise, a workshop was held to create a scaling plan for the technologies that were deemed necessary to be adopted in their respective regions, particularly the identification of necessary activities to disseminate the identified technologies and their timeline of implementation.
The workshops were held last June 2023 by clusters in Isabela and Legaspi for Luzon, Iloilo for the Visayas cluster, and for the Mindanao cluster in Butuan and Davao.