San Fernando, Pampanga---The country’s agriculture teachers underwent training for sustainable rice production through modern technology and to attract more farmers to return to farming.
The five-day training lasted from Nov. 12 to Nov. 16 at the Phil Rice Central Experiment in the Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija.
About 90 teachers diagnosed rice based on morphology and growth stages, palay check system, nutrient, pest, water and harvest farm machineries operation and hands on practicum.
Rice together with fish is the official menu of the Filipino people that became the objective of the past and present administrations.
Beatriz G. Torno, the regional director of the Department of Education and Culture (DepEd) in Central Luzon said that the five days training aims to update agricultural teachers on the modern use of technology for growing rice and invite the farmers to return to the rice field for sustainable food production of the country.
The training which started Nov.12 up to 16 will have a next batch from 19 to 23 of the same month.
According to Torno, sustainable rice production remains the critical problem of the government wherein the education department will actively participate by fielding agriculture teachers to help neither in production or teaching young farmers to return in the field through relevant skills and modern technology in rice farming.
“Given the technology and being equipped with right skill on rice farming, the teachers shall be able to bring back the interest of the farmers into farming”, she stressed.
The government’s statistics show there are about 7.19 million hectares of agriculture land planted with palay but divided into about 5.56 million small farms throughout the country.
The statistics also who show the main problems of farmers include high cost of input, low price of palay, lack of capital, labor problem, lack of post-harvest facilities, pest and disease and lack of irrigation.
The problems that contribute significantly to their production are the lack of capital, pest and disease and cost of fertilizer which then leads the government to import in the neighboring ASEAN countries to supply the depleting stockpile need of the country.
In the same report, the total rice consumption of the country for 2017 and 2018 is forecasted to increase by 2.22 percent to 13.8 MMT from 13.5 MMT recorded demand in 2016 and 2017.
The country’s rice output last year was highest in history because it grew by 9.3 percent to 19.28 million MMT from 17.63 MMT in contrast to 2016 that also reduced the country’s dependence on importation.