DA urges farmers to expand organic rice seed production
The online news portal of TV5

LEGAZPI CITY - The Department of Agriculture regional field office in Bicol has urged farmers to expand the production of rice organic seeds specially the aromatic varieties.

Emily Bordado, DA-Bicol information officer, said the Pecuaria Development Cooperative Inc. (PDCI) is the single producer of organic rice in Bicol and DA's certified organic collaborator for its project Development of National Organic Rice Seed Production Systems.

“Organic rice is more nutritious and we encourage farmers to promote and spread the production of these varieties,” Bordado said.

Aside from Bicol, other four certified organic farms are the Central Luzon State University in Nueva Ecija, Kahariam Realty and Farms Inc. in Batangas, the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Foundation Inc. and Bios Dynamis of South Cotabato.

PDCI produces aromatic rice varieties such as JM 2, Basmati and MS 16, and traditional varieties RC 18 and RC 160 which are being developed in a one-hectare demo farm in the more than 800-hectare Pecuaria Rice Central in Lanipga Bula, Camarines Sur and were harvested that field day.

The project is being implemented by the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry and funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research to support the Philippine Organic Agriculture Law.

The seeds produced from this techno demo will be procured by the DA and will be distributed as starter seeds to farmers engaged in aromatic rice production.

Bardado noted that NSIC RC 160 is a high yielding variety developed in CLSU, while the MS 16 (Maligaya Special) developed by PhilRice has good eating quality. He emphasized the continued support of the DA National Rice Program to the Filipino farmers and promised to revitalize organic agriculture in all areas of the country.

Bicol contributes 44 percent of the country's organic crops production and contributed 74 percent to the total organic palay production from January to September this year.