By Mike U. Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – The regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to establish a 100-hectare area for a rice technology demonstration farm for Caraga region, DA 13 Regional Spokesperson Emmylou T. Presilda told The Manila Bulletin on Friday.

She said the establishment of rice technology demonstration farm is to intensify the adoption of hybrid rice technology among farmers in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region.

The DA 13 Spokesperson said efforts are still needed to make the farmers in Caraga region adopt hybrid rice practices and technologies.

For this year, a technology demonstration will be established in the three barangays in this region’s premier and capital city of Butuan namely Lemon, Basag, and Ampayon with a total area of 100 hectares.

The demo farms will be established in collaboration with the agri-companies namely SL Agritech Corporation, SeedWorks, Bioseed, Ramgo, Bayer, Pioneer, Syngenta, Advanta, and LongPing, alongside the DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) and Phil-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology (PhilSCAT) and to be participated by 40 participating farmers cooperators.

Caraga will be hosting the 11th National Rice Technology Forum (NRTF) in collaboration with Rice Productivity Advocacy Incorporated (Rice Board) in partnership with the city government of Butuan.

DA 13 Regional Executive Director (RED) Abel James I. Monteagudo said that NRTF is part of the strategy of the department to intensify the efforts in increasing the yield and productivity of farmers and ensuring food sufficiency, availability, accessibility, and affordability.

“Food is a vital commodity especially now that we are overcoming the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is our mission to bring to the farmers the latest technology in rice production, this can be achieved by our collaboration and partnership with the rice industry stakeholders,” said RED Monteagudo, in a statement.

Currently, the farmer cooperators are now on its land preparation in their respective areas, preparing the rice field for planting. They will be provided with the seeds, input requirements, crop protection as well as technical assistance following the package of technology recommended for a particular hybrid rice variety by the agri-companies and rice institutions.

Different planting methods will also be demonstrated and rice mechanization will be integrated.

Through the technology demonstrations, farmers will have the opportunity to choose which among the best practices and technologies introduced are applicable to their farm conditions. Results are expected to be seen this coming October during the 11th National Technology Forum.