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More than 5,000 farmers in Bago City receive approved rice seeds.

The national and local governments gave certified rice seeds worth PHP17 million to more than 5,000 small farmers in Bago City, which has been named one of the nation’s top rice producers by the Department of Agriculture (DA), between January and June of this year.

According to data as of Thursday, the DA has distributed almost 15,000 bags of certified seeds, each weighing 20 kg, to designated rice producers as part of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Program.

A total of 4,000 sacks, each carrying 40 kg of certified seeds, were also provided as part of the local government’s palay subsidy program.

Carlito Indencia, a city agriculturalist, claimed that they give farmers high-quality seeds to help them produce more palay (unhusked rice).

According to a study, adopting certified rice seeds should result in a productivity boost of at least 10%, he claimed.

Bago City, which is close to Bacolod and is known for its superior rice production, has earned the moniker “rice granary of Negros Occidental.”

The city achieved a production output of 4.43 MT to 4.47 MT over time, exceeding its goal of 4.4 metric tons (MT) per hectare.

Indencia stated that they hope to make up for a little decline in average yield in 2021 brought on by multiple disasters that devastated Negros Occidental this year.

The municipal administration has also dispersed tractors, combine harvesters, transplanter machines, and other agricultural apparatus and equipment worth PHP26 million as part of its farm mechanization initiative over the previous four years.

The program has benefited at least 20 associations made up of small or marginal rice growers.

“This is in response to the shortage of farm laborers. When a farm is mechanized, another benefit is that work is completed more quickly, according to Indencia.

The City Agriculture Office also offers technical help and training to farmers through the extension services program so they may use technology and adopt farming techniques that will increase their harvest of rice.

The Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture and the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance Program are two of the crop insurance schemes that currently cover more than 4,000 rice farmers in Bago.

Bago was the only local government unit from Western Visayas to receive an award that year, and it was the first time that year that it was listed among the DA’s Rice Achievers.

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