By Mike U. Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – At least 60,000 local farmers in Caraga region will benefit on the government intervention through free inbred certified seeds (ICS).

The intervention is part of the Department of Agriculture’s (DAa) Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra COVID-19, or the Plant, Plant, Plant Program under the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP).

The DA project allocated some P207 million for Caraga region.

Initially, the DA 13 in partnership with the local government units in Agusan del Sur started the delivery and distribution of the said ICS.

In Rosario town, Agusan del Sur, around 130 rice farmers received the inbred certified seeds through RRP’s Expanded Inbred Sub-project.

Zenaida T. Quimno, 51, from Purok-5, Barangay Poblacion of that town said that the intervention will lessen her production cost for the wet cropping season.

For the municipality of San Francisco town of that same province, about 300 rice farmers also received the said support.

Alfredo J. Jurado, 64, from Purok-6, Barangay 5 of that same town shared his excitement to plant the NSIC Rc18 in his area.

“Given to have favorable weather I am looking forward to having a good harvest because I will be planting certified seeds. This is comparable from the home saved seeds that I’ve been using before,” he said.

The project targets to increase local rice production through the use of high-quality seeds and sufficient fertilization based on recommendations. The recipients will be given the option to choose among the top-performing varieties accepted in the region such as NSIC Rc 222, 18, and 160.

Aside from the free ICS, farmers will also be given two bags of fertilizers. To avail of free inputs, farmers must be listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).

They also need to present empty sacks of their purchased fertilizer and official receipt upon claiming their free fertilizer from the municipal/city agriculture offices.

“Distribution of the said ICS is still ongoing in other areas in the region,” said DA 13 Regional Spokesperson Emmylou T. Presilda.