In an interview with Freddie S. Panugao, a rice farmer in Brgy. Rang-ay, Banaybanay, Davao Oriental, he spent around P1,450 to buy 70 kg- rice seeds for a hectare.

"Bug-at na gyud na nga amount ilabi na nga mubo na kaayo ang presyo sa humay dinhi, gikan P26 per kilo to P15 per kilo," shared Freddie.

But rice farmers like Freddie will never worry about quality rice seeds for this cropping season. From December 4-6, the Department of Agriculture XI- Rice Program together with PhilRice will be distributing 2,029 bags (20 kg/bag) quality rice seeds FOR FREE to our rice farmers in Banaybanay in cooperation with LGU-Banaybanay and the Municipal Agriculture Office.

The seed distribution is part of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) which also includes support in mechanization and access to training and loan, created as safety nets for our rice farmers affected by Rice Tariffication Law.

Farmers should be registered in RSBSA or Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (they can register at their City/Municipal Agriculture Office} to avail the seeds.

"Dako na kaayo ni nga tabang kanamong mga rice farmers kay kanang P1,450 mapalit na namo na ug igong supurta sa among farm ug pamilya," Freddie said.

Same activity will be conducted among rice-growing areas in Davao region. Kudos to LGU-Banaybanay Mayor Adalia Caballero Lopez and the Municipal Agriculture Office headed by MAO Ester Mante Solamo and rice coordinator Vince Caminero and staff for a very organized distribution making it hassle-free for our unsung heroes.| via Celso Campos Vergara and Janelle Tabalina Floress, RAFIS11

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