Samar town eyed as future ‘biggest rice seed production center’
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the poor town of San Roque, Northern Samar will be transformed this year into the biggest seed production center in the country.
To be specific, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is planning to plant as much as 2,000 hectares of land within the town with selected high-yielding varieties developed by Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).
The seed production area in San Roque — which will be a joint project of DA, PhilRice, the Local Government Unit of San Roque, a private company, and the farmers — will be the foundation of the Samar Rice Development Program (SRDP).
To be launched this year, the SRDP targets to transform additional 100,000 to 200,000 hectares of rich lands into rice production areas.
Under the program, a private seed production group will set up a nucleus farm of 200 hectares, establish rice seeds processing facilities, and a refrigerated warehouse for the storage of the seeds.
The private seed production group will engage the farmers of San Roque in a seed production contract where the seeds from the farmers will be bought by the company.
The DA and PhilRice will support the program by providing the farmers with technical training, equipment and loan support.
“Farm to market roads and Solar-Powered Irrigation Systems will also be installed in the seed production areas of the farmers,” Piñol further said.