Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)-Seed Program is benefitting more than 100,000 rice farmers in Region 2 and CAR who were affected by agricultural damages brought about by recent typhoons.
Andres L. Dela Cruz Jr., RCEF coordinator in Isabela, said that seed delivery and distribution in Region 2 and CAR resumed on Nov. 16 to immediately supply the RCEF areas with more than 120,000 bags of seeds.
Municipalities and cities, especially in Cagayan and Isabela, which were heavily damaged due to flooding, are prioritized.
The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) is currently distributing high-quality inbred seeds in six municipalities in Cagayan; 21 in Isabela; and seven in Ifugao.
DA recently reported that Ulysses, the deadliest typhoon that hit the country so far, reached almost P4 billion worth of damage. Farmers in the Cagayan Valley and Cordilleras were among the more than 100,000 affected farmers.
Before the typhoon Ulysses hits the regions, RCEF seed deliveries in Isabela were fast tracked and seeds were secured in warehouses to prevent damages.
The RCEF-Seed Program, which is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law signed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, allots P10 billion fund every year for the rice farmers. Sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Villar, the program is a six-year government initiative to help the farmers compete in the international rice market. The local government units and lawmakers assist in its implementation.
PhilRice leads the RCEF-Seed Program, and is the government’s lead agency on rice research and development mandated to help ensure a rice-secure Philippines. With eight stations across the country, its programs and projects are in line with the DA’s “Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita” battlecry.