July 30, 2006

IN farmers to benefit from MMSU’s Rice-Seed Dispersal Project
Maintenance of peace and order urged

The Mariano Marcos State University through the office of its Extension Services continuously serves the farmers by giving them interest-free loan services with its Seed Dispersal Project.

For almost six years now, since the SDP guidelines was revised with its interest-free loan scheme, more farmers from various locations in Ilocos Norte continued to enjoy this benefit. This is so because the farmer-recipients of this project will no longer be worrying on where to get for additional cash for the interest of their loans in terms of seeds and farm inputs. Not only that, with the continued effort of MMSU to lessen the burden of farmer-beneficiaries during the rice planting season, MMSU continued to implement low cost but effective technologies that will surely benefit the farmers.

Use of Organic Fertilizer

High cost of inorganic/chemical fertilizers is one of the major problems our farmer-beneficiaries experience today. To solve this problem, the Extension Directorate continually promotes the use of organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are a low-cost but effective technology to help farmers restore the good condition of the soil.

Because of excessive use of inorganic fertilizers in the farm, slowly, the farmlands have lost its good quality. Almost half of the farm areas have already been destroyed because of this. Farm areas have become acidic and are low in soil nutrients. This is the reason why farmers’ harvest during the harvesting season is very low. This scenario has threatened the farmers a lot. They invest a lot of money yet very low returns.

Use organic fertilizers in the farm will help them improve the quality of the soil, protect themselves and their environment.

The application of organic fertilizer to crops will surely enhance the growth performance of the plants. This will also give the farmers more healthy fruits of their crops and at the same time it increases the nutritive value. Based on research results, it was also found out that rice applied with organic fertilizers is heavy in weight than those that were not applied with organic fertilizers.

Use of resistant varieties

Last year, the Extension Directorate in cooperation with the Philippine Rice Research Institute has fully implemented its SEEDNET project for the production of high yielding and resistant varieties to diseases. In this project, MMSU will produce its needed seeds for its dispersal project. Rice varieties that were produced including their characteristics are the following:

PSB Rc 18 (ALA)

-Delicious and with high milling recovery

-Has a potential yield of 106-162 cav/ha

-Can be harvested 123-130 days after sowing

PSB Rc 28 (Agno)

-With soft rice

-Has a potential yield of 100-152 cav/ha

-Resistant to blast but are attacked by bacterial blight when there is an excessive supply of nitrogen during rainy season.

- Can be harvested 11-118 days after sowing

PSB Rc 82 (Peñaranda)

-High milling recovery

-Has a potential yield of 108-240 cav/ha

-Resistant to blast

-Can be harvested 110-117 days after sowing

NSIC Rc 112 (Tubigan 2)

-Delicious and with high milling recovery

-Has a potential yield of 98-146 cav/ha

-Attacked by blast during wet season

-Can be harvested 111-118 days after sowing

NSIC Rc 122 (Angelica)

-Aromatic and soft rice but low in milling recovery

- Has a potential yield of 100-140 cav/ha

- Can be harvested 121-128 days after sowing

Other rice varieties produced at MMSU include PSB Rc 14, PSB Rc 18, and IR 64.

In addition to these varieties, the Extension Directorate also promotes the technology of multiplying one kg of rice seeds to 10 sacks or 500 kg seeds in just one season. This technology is developed by the Philippine Rice Research Institute. This is done by preparing a 20-m2 seedbed. Mix organic mater on top of the seedbed (approximately .5 kg/ m2). After mixing, sow the 1 kg pre-germinated rice seeds. After 21-25 days, they are now ready for transplanting. Transplant 1 to 3 seedlings per hill in 1,000 m2 or one-tenth of a hectare. During the wet season, transplant at 20 cm X 20 cm distance and during the dry season, 20 cm X 15 cm.

Crop Insurance

For three years now, the Extension Directorate coordinates with the Philippine Crop Insurance (PCIC) to help the farmer-beneficiaries secure their crops from pests and diseases, calamities like typhoon and drought among others. The last cropping season has a total of P26,350.00 value of crops damages handled by the crop insurance. Through this initiative, the farmer-beneficiaries will be helped in terms of their payments in case their crops are damage by calamities.

In case of crop damage, the farmer-beneficiaries should report to MMSU immediately the extent of damage. Afterwhich, MMSU will evaluate and make the report for submission to PCIC. After the report has been made, PCIC will then validate the extent of damage. Depending on the extent of damage, the PCIC will then pay the beneficiary.

Availment Scheme

All farmers have the opportunity to avail of the project to help them improve their farm income. Farmer-beneficiaries/associations/zanheras who have maintained their good track record will qualify to avail of the project.

Every year, before the farmers are able to withdraw the planting materials, they are required to attend a pre-dispersal training for them to be updated on the latest technologies on rice.

To date, a total value of P346,360.00 of rice seeds and farm-inputs were dispersed benefiting a total of 60 beneficiaries of various towns of Ilocos Norte, this rice planting season.

Those interested farmers who may want to avail of the program next cropping season must write the University President Dr. Miriam E. Pascua, indicating the exact location, total area, and varieties they wanted to plant.

Mercy R. Gaño, Contributor

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