In a bid to achieve rice self-sufficiency by 2017, not only in the region, but in the entire Philippines, the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office No. 02 (DA-RFO 02), in coordination with the Provincial and Municipal Local Government Units (P/MLGUs) of the Provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya, shall beef-up the implementation of Rice Program Model Farm (RPMF) in the region.
RPMF aims to showcase the relative yield advantage of using hybrid rice seeds as compared to inbred certified, good seeds and farmer’s home saved as provided in its general guidelines signed by DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol on January 18, 2017.

Dir. Robert B. Olinares, Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Operations and Extension, stressed during a meeting cum workshop on February 10, 2017 at the Organic Agriculture Training Hall of DA-RFO 02, that the main inputs to the RPMF is the provision of high quality hybrid rice seeds with fertilizers including the recommended management practices.

One of the main goals of the model farm is to attain at least six (6) metric tons of palay per hectare by the end of 2017 Wet Season (WS) Cropping.

Best adopted and most preferred hybrid seeds by farmers per municipality shall be given to them and packed in 15 to 18 kilograms/bag per hectare. However, smaller bags packaged at 3kg, 5kg and 6kg are also possible.

The RPMF shall be implemented this 2017 WS Cropping and shall be continuously pursued in the succeeding crop seasons.

Dr. Ernesto D. Guzman, Chief of the Regulatory Division and Regional Rice Action Officer, said that the model farm shall be focused to fully irrigated rice farms, but selected rainfed areas with adequate water can also be included.

The target area for the abovementioned provinces is composed of 15,000 hectares with at least 10 hectares per cluster.

The Rice Crop Manager (RCM) shall be used to generate specific crop management recommendation to the model farm. Fertilizers recommended by RCM shall be provided to the recipients and soil ameliorants may also be distributed as inputs to the model farm.

Furthermore, baseline data shall be collected at the time the model farm will be established. The data shall include the production, yield per area and production cost.

To effectively and efficiently implement the model farm, a technical working group will be organized which will be composed of management staff from DA-RFO 02 Operations Division, DA-Research Center and Experiment Stations, Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS), Regional Agriculture and Engineering Division (RAED), representative from DA attached agencies, PLGU and MLGU staff. Additional graduates of agriculture or related courses shall also be hired to assist in the implementation of the said model farm.

A RPMF briefing module or kit shall be produced and printed in tarpaulins.

Farmer associations, organizations and cooperatives or individual rice farmers shall be the recipients of the program. These clustered farms shall be geo-tagged, farm parcel mapped using GPS and farmer-recipients shall be registered in a field registry and shall be given an Identification Card.

Qualified farmer-recipients are required to attend briefings on hybrid rice production.

For 2018, the regional target area for RPMF is 30,000 hectares of irrigated rice land.