Bago City rice farmers get hybrid seeds for 1,400 hectares under Masagana Program

Posted by: RAFIS DA6 | Posted at: June 6, 2024

Rice growers listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and members of clustered associations in Bago City, Negros Occidental, are now receiving hybrid seeds from the Department of Agriculture (DA) Masagana Rice Industry Program following the ceremonial distribution held on June 5 at the City Agriculture Office.

The DA Western Visayas has allocated hybrid seeds to Bago City to cover 1,402 hectares, with each farmer receiving a 15-kilogram bag per hectare for the wet planting season. In addition to the hybrid seeds, farmers will receive P3,400.00 worth of fertilizer discount vouchers, bio-fertilizers, and soil ameliorants under the Masagana Program, which aims to optimize production and yield performance.

As a three-time awardee in the DA’s search for top rice-producing local government units from 2018 to 2020, Bago City contributes about 20 percent of the province’s total rice production. According to City Agriculturist Marvin John Blance, 11,012.49 hectares in Bago City are irrigated, thus making the locality the rice granary of Negros Occidental.

Blance emphasized that the collaboration of various stakeholders, including the DA, farmers, farmers’ associations, and the City Agriculture and Fishery Council, enabled the seamless delivery of interventions and high adoption of technologies in rice production. The City Government conducted Farmer Field Schools to update farmers on modern rice farming protocols and allocated local farm mechanization funds to expedite and ease the drudgery of farm labor and operations.

“The acceptance of this Masagana Program is very positive. The program can eventually help increase farmers’ productivity and profitability. I urge our farmers to plant the seeds they receive, and those who have not yet prepared their lands for planting are advised to utilize the soil analysis service provided by the government,” said Blance.

From the 4.30 metric tons per hectare average yield of palay in 2023, Bago City farmers hope to increase their production to 150 cavans per hectare using certified inbred seeds and 200 cavans per hectare using hybrid varieties under the Masagana Rice Program.

Newton Camingawan Para Agriculture and Farmers Cooperative chairperson Myrna Villa said, “We believe that this Masagana Program will be advantageous to the farmers as using high-yielding varieties can result in higher yields. Hybrids produce high-quality tillers and thus could provide better production and income for farmers.”

The DA has allocated hybrid seeds covering 14,660 hectares of rice areas in Negros Occidental, with the largest allocation in Bago City, followed by Salvador Benedicto, with 1,153 hectares, and San Carlos City, with 1,000 hectares targeted for hybrid rice cultivation this wet planting season.###Texts and Photos by SMHToreno/DA-RAFIS 6