Tagbilaran City – Bohol Province is now branding its premium rice produced by the Boholano farmers themselves through the launching of its own brand “Sun Rice”, as one of the highlights of the Grand Harvest Festival in November 2020, in a shift of local staple agriculture to competitiveness.

Bohol governor Arthur Yap said that rice branding is one government support to the local growers of quality rice who deserve a fair reward of their labor through reasonable buying price of their harvest. “This 100% Boholano rice is packed and distributed by the provincial government under its Palay Buy-Back Program (PBBP).”

According to Larry Pamugas, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA) that the PBBP is the Advanced Rice Technology (ART) 160 and 120 Program component granting advantage to the farmers in marketing their produce.

The governor innovated the ART 160 and 120 to enhance the harvest to 160 sacks of hybrid rice and 120 sacks of inbred rice per hectare, respectively with the farmers as parts of the ART 160 beneficiaries, Pamugas explained.

Under the ART 160, the province has started buying rice from the farmers produced at the Rice Processing Center (RPC) in Pilar and 1,035 bags of hybrid palay had been bought so far from 17 farmers as of mid-October this year, Pamugas added.

The purchased quantity was equivalent to 38,452.5 kilograms and the province has already dispensed P717,406 as of October 14-16. Local traders buy palay at prevailing prices ranging from P17 per kilo for “uga” or palay with moisture content at only 14-percent, Pamugas said.

Palay having higher moisture content (basa) is bought at P14 or lesser by P3 per kilo. Pamugas said the provincial government buys dry palay at P20 per kilo, including the fixed add-on of P1 also per kilo while brown rice, also called “pula nga humay,” sells up to P22 per kilo of palay.

According to Pamugas that Capitol has tapped its Provincial Economic Enterprise Unit (PEEMU) in marketing the “Sun Rice” under the PBBP and through the OPA the province facilitated the first batch of ART 160 crop cut sampling.

Pamugas said that 10 irrigator associations (IA) conducted the sampling with the ISIDJO IA posting the highest yield at 10.8 metric tons of SL 20H rice variety per hectare. Rice crop under the ART 120 rice is on the ripening stage.