Quality RCEF seeds guaranteed

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - January 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture assured that the rollout of the seed component under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) underwent tedious quality control process.

The Bureau of Plant Industry-National Seed Quality Control Services (BPI-NSQCS) said seeds go through series of processes for certification and quality control before distribution.

From document verification, trainings, field and seed scrutiny, until tag issuance, analysts conduct a thorough inspection.

“Ensuring high-quality of seeds is part of the government’s support to Filipino rice farmers affected by the surge of rice imports in the market,” BPI-NSQCS chief Josephine Reyes said.

“Seed growers, as part of their requirements for accreditation, should attend five-day training on inbred rice seeds production conducted by agricultural agencies. They also have to submit documents like land title,” she said.

After seed growers are accredited, they will apply for certification.

Deputized seed inspectors from the local agriculture offices conduct unannounced preliminary field inspection 15 days after transplant.

The final seed inspection is done 15 to 20 days before harvest. The inspector then conducts seed sampling in different warehouses with samples submitted to the laboratory for seed analysis.

Five certified inbred varieties are provided under the RCEF program – three nationally recommended varieties NSIC Rc 222, NSIC Rc 216, and NSIC Rc 160 and two other location-specific varieties.

To pass quality control, seed samples should have 98 percent minimum pure seed, 0.04 percent maximum weed and other crop seed, two percent maximum inert matter, 500 grams maximum other varieties and grains, 85 percent minimum germination, and 14 percent maximum moisture content.

After the seeds pass the laboratory analysis, NSQCS issues tags indicating details of the quality control analysis.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar previously forged a partnership with seed growers’ associations and cooperatives to ensure that inbred seeds distributed under the RCEF program are of good quality.

Seed growers in Pampanga, meanwhile, expressed their desire in participating in the country’s program to help small-scale rice farmers.


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