TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan – The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 2 (DA-RFO2) had showcased the high yielding rice varieties for rainfed areas in Cagayan during the recent field day here.

According to the report from the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS) of the DA –RFO2, the field day on the result of the Community Participatory Action Research (CPAR) project was held in Barangay Namabbalan Norte, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

The field day was initiated by the DA-RFO2 Cagayan Valley Research Center (DA-CVRC) in collaboration with the DA- Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) on September 26, 2020, and was attended by 20 farmer cooperators.

The field day is an opportune time for the farmer cooperators and adoptors to witness the stand and yield of the varieties promoted, mechanized establishment, and fertilizer recommendations through the use of Rice Crop Manager. This is part of the technology interventions adopted with a total of 17. 27 hectares which are mostly idle and not planted for any kind of crops due to its condition of being a rainfed area.

Aside from the provision of high yielding and climate-resilient rice seeds such as NSICRc480, NSICRc402, and NSICRc416, the project has provided and established five units of Open Source Pumps (OSPs) with complete accessories connected to the Cagayan River.

The project was augmented the irrigation water requirements to support double rice farming activity plus the opportunity for other crops like mungbean and glutinous corn to be grown after planting of rice that would somehow be considered as additional income.

Farmers perceived through their testimonies that CPAR project interventions awakened their interest to go back in rice farming again due to the clear benefits of new technologies showcased. Notably, a major shift from rice mono-cropping and practice of planting once a year or worse no crops planted all year, to a crop intensification system which is Rice-Rice and Mungbean and Rice-Corn intercropped with Mungbean Cropping Pattern.

Director Rose Mary G. Aquino, the regional technical director for research and regulatory of the DA-RFO2 spearheaded the Participatory Rural Appraisal conducted sometime in 2017.

Aquino was excited about the fruits of what she envisioned considering that the frequent scenery of bare areas every time she passes-by are now rice land areas with high hopes of good returns for the benefit of the lowly farmers.

“Ang pagtugon sa problema ng magsasaka ay hindi dapat gawing komplikado, kailangan lang ay tignan natin ang mga available na resources sa paligid at gawin itong mga oportunidad – katulad na lamang ng Cagayan River na ginagamit natin na source ng patubig gamit ang ating mga interventions na OSPs para maipagpatuloy ang inyong farming activities at mapalago ang farming business ninyo”, said Aquino.  (The approach to agricultural problems shouldn’t be complicated; we should utilise what is already available and turn it into opprotunity. In the same way that we are using the Cagayan River as a source of water, so are we using OSP interventions to further enhance your farming activities and businesses.)

An average net income of P12,792.00 per hectare (135% return on variable cost) was obtained in planting Mungbean as “Singit Crop” or an additional source of income during the 2019-2020 Dry Season Cropping planted after rice which gives an average of 5.2 ton/ha using NSIC Rc480.

This wet season cropping, based on the initial result obtained in CPAR Intervention from three farmer cooperators, the NSICRc480 inbred rice variety obtained a yield of as high as 8.30 – 9.70 ton/ha fresh weight this is equivalent to a 193% – 250% increase in rice yield considering their baseline yield data as a result of PRA with an average of 2.5 ton/ha.

Tuguegarao  City Councilor Grace Babaran-Arago commended DA-RFO02 for another worthy project for the farmers as she expressed her gratitude to DA-BAR for their funding support making technology breakthroughs and interventions accessible to the Nammabalan Norte farmers.

The field day ended with awarding a new set of irrigation pump accessories to augment the existing ones and for use of other farmer adopters in the said area.