Mindoro gets P60-M loan for hybrid farming

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture (DA) is allocating a P60-million loan program for Oriental Mindoro as part of the government’s bid to enhance hybrid farming in the country.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said rice farmers in the province would receive a loan fund of P60 million which would be used to buy hybrid rice seeds and fertilizers to improve yield during harvest.

“Farmers who have a total area of 4,000 hectares would like to shift to hybrid rice seeds but they do not have enough money to buy the seeds and fertilizers. A loan of P15,000 per hectare would be enough to buy hybrid seeds and at least eight bags of fertilizers,” Piñol said.

With the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA), DA’s flagship lending program, identification and monitoring cards will be issued to farmers to avail of the loan.

The loan does not require a collateral and has an annual six percent interest which will go to the credit conduit.

The PLEA program for rice requires farmers to use hybrid rice seeds and apply fertilizers, organic or inorganic.

While hybrid rice seeds are most costly at P5,000 per hectare compared to the normal P1,200, it could produce up to 10 metric tons (MT) per hectare per harvest compared to the average four MT per hectare from ordinary seeds.

“At a buying price of P20 per kilo, a farmer who uses hybrid seeds could earn as much as P200,000 compared to P80,000 if he uses ordinary seeds,” Piñol said.

The DA has been pushing for the hybridization program to increase farmers’ yield and income and at the same time ensure sufficient rice supply for the country.

Currently, only about 300,000 hectares are planted with hybrid seeds from the total harvested area of four million hectares.

The DA has already targeted to expand hybrid rice area to 500,000 next year and as much as one million by 2020.



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