In a bid to make Region 2 farmers to be competitive in producing palay with other Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) countries with passage of the Trade Liberalization or the lifting of imports quantitative restrictions of rice in the country, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office No. 2 (DA-RFO 02) Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo had seen the High Yielding Technology Adoption for Hybrid Rice (HYTA-HR) and Rice Model Farm Cluster Projects as one of the contributory interventions in attaining a food-secured region.

“Through the HYTA-HR and other related DA interventions, farmers are equipped with the knowledge and skills for them to be competitive future black rice exporters and rice producers comes future importing countries in the Philippines’, RED Edillo stressed.

“In Cagayan Valley, although we are getting 4.3 mt/ha in the irrigated areas, there are locations despite of physical advantage, the yield is still low because the adoption of high quality seeds is not seen as a priority to farmers”, Edillo said.

“There’s a need to maximize the yield of rice in the irrigated areas to increase farmer’s productivity given their most favorable condition over other ecosystem” Edillo added.
One of the contributory factors in the attainment of a secured-Philippines is the use of hybrid rice technology. Hybrid rice technology has been proven to increase rice yield production by as much as 15-30 percent. But despite the added supply contributed by the cultivation of hybrid rice, the country is still lacking of rice supply.
The introduction of hybrid seeds coupled with other interventions such technology demonstration, technical assistance and other related interventions, Region 2 has significantly increased its production.

“Hybrid Seed Utilization in the region accounted only at about 43% of the total irrigated area, and since we are aiming for a rice-secured Philippines, the DA is continuously pushing for hybridization thru HYTA-HR as one of the interventions to increase production of farmers”, said Director Edillo.

Through the HYTA-HR project, qualified farmers/organizations beneficiaries were provided with hybrid seeds on “Grant –Recovery Roll Over Scheme”.

The project aimed to increase the project beneficiary competitiveness on a roll-over scheme, sustain the level of production of hybrid rice producing areas, help increase marginalize farmer’s income and increase area to be hybridized in Wet and Dry Season.

Through the said project, farmers are equipped with the knowledge for them to be competitive rice producers in the World Market.
RED Edillo said that this was proven with the success of the HYTA-HR project in the region particularly in Gamu, Isabela through the “Baro a Langa ti Mannalon Farmers Association and other associations.

The project was anchored on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) concept which was spearheaded by the DA-RFO 02, Local Government Unit of Gamu, Isabela and the Private Companies started on CY 2015-2018 dry and wet cropping season and up to the present. The PPP concept was considered because of private hybrid seeds preferred by the farmers and its adaptability in a location specific area.

Cagayan Valley is basically an agricultural region with a rice production area of 562,018 hectares (PSA, 2018). Region 2 ranks second place in terms of production with 2,379,771.42 million MT or 12.48% contribution to the Philippines with 19,066,093.94 million MT in 2018, (PSA, 2018) and number one (1) in surplus, with a sufficiency level of 289% (PSA, 2017) contribution in the country.

Of the total regional rice production of 2,379,771.42 in 2018; Isabela shared the largest contribution with 49.94% or 1,188,584MMT, followed by Cagayan with 35% or 832,941MT, Nueva Vizcaya with 11.34% or 270,070MT and Quirino with 3.70% or 88,106.0 MT. Based on CY 2018 production data, Region 02 was able to share 12.48% to the national rice production of 19,066,093.94MT. Region 02 comprises of 83 municipalities, three (3) component cities and one (1) independent city with vast and potential areas for the production of crops, livestock, poultry and fishery development.

In the Philippines, the average production of rice remains low at an average of 3.7 MT/Ha.