Sen. Cynthia Villar said the law enacted to protect local farmers after the expiration of the quantitative restriction on rice importation, will enable the farmers to raise their incomes and yields through the use of certified inbred seeds.
Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, said Republic Act 11203 which creates the P10 billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), allocated P3 billion to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) to teach farmers how to produce and propagate inbred rice seeds.
"At present, we only produce 4 metric tons of rice per hectare. With this inbred seeds, we will be able to bring up the harvest to 6 MT/ha, in the process, raising also the incomes of our rice farmers," Villar said.
The Nacionalista Party senator also said the law provides local rice farmers with the opportunity to become seed growers engaged in trade because they will be taught to produce and propagate their own seeds.
"This will be one less expense for our farmers because they don't have to buy seeds every cropping season. They will grow their own seeds and they can also sell them, " Villar added.
Villar said this program under RCEF is separate from the Department of Agriculture's program on hybrid rice.
The law also allocated P100 million to PhilRice to lead in the training of trainors who will teach farmers rice crop production and modern rice farming techniques.
Source: Senate of the Philippines