Friday, March 2, 2012

Alternative farming to be pilot-tested in DAR communities


An alternative technology that could help reduce production cost and mitigate climate change will be pilot-tested in the agrarian reform communities in two towns in Nueva Ecija, an agreement signed on Feb 27 at the Central Experiment Station of Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) stipulates.

In a Memorandum of Agreement signed by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and PhilRice, no-tillage technology, an alternative farming practice that excludes plowing or harrowing during land preparation will be promoted in Talavera and Science City of Muñoz.

Ruben B. Miranda, PhilRice project coordinator of No Tillage and PalayCheck System for Irrigated Rice Production, said no-tillage technology will be promoted through demonstration sites and trainings.

“Studies on no-tillage technology show that it helps minimize labor cost, which represents 62-70% of total input costs, and retains carbon in the soil. With this technology, less or no machine is used for land preparation and the soil is not heavily disturbed, resulting in less fuel use and less carbon emission,” he explained.

Miranda added that localized no-tillage practices will also be developed and a season-long training on PalayCheck, an integrated crop management system for rice, is included in the project.

To be implemented for one season starting this July, the project will cover three barangays in each of the two towns. BAR will fund the project while DAR and PhilRice will promote the technologies, determine the economic benefits, and document technology adoption. 

The Memorandum of Agreement was signed by Nicomedes P. Eleazar, BAR director;  Joell H. Lales, officer-in-charge of BAR’s Planning and Project Development Division;  Rosalina L. Bistoyong and Jerry E. Pacturan, DAR undersecretaries; Eufemio T. Rasco Jr., PhilRice executive director; and Eduardo Jimmy P. Quilang, PhilRice deputy executive director for development.

DA-PhilRice is a government-owned and –controlled corporation that aims at developing high-yielding, cost-reducing, and environment-friendly technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

For more information, please visit or contact DA-PhilRice at Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija with telephone number (044) 456-0285 loc 511/512 or any PhilRice station near you. You may also visit their website at www.philrice.gov.ph or text your questions to 0920-911-1398.