DA-XI Regional Executive Director Ricardo M. Oñate, Jr. said that the reimbursement scheme is one of the major components of the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP) under the DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant Program.

“Under this scheme, DA will reimburse the rice farmers’ Urea fertilizer for the 2020 wet cropping season. This is our way of helping farmers cut down the production cost and making sure that they have applied the recommended amount of Urea considering their production area and planted rice variety,” said Oñate.

Farmers should be a recipient of the seed component of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), Expanded Inbred and Hybrid Rice Production and must be registered under the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).

“They [rice farmers] will just have to present a valid BIR-registered sales invoice or official receipt as proof of purchase to their Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO). The MAO will prepare the masterlist of beneficiaries subject to the DA regional and central office’s review,” said Oñate.

Adding that: “The number of bags to be reimbursed will be based on the farmer’s rice production area registered in RSBSA and the recommended amount of fertilizer to be applied.”

In Davao region, DA has allocated 120,942 bags to be reimbursed for the 2020 wet season cropping which will benefit a target area of 45,645 ha. for Expanded RCEF and 9,884 ha. for Expanded Hybrid Rice Production.

Meanwhile, Oñate explains the shift of the RRP fertilizer component from fertilizer distribution to reimbursement scheme.

“To address delay in distribution of fertilizers due to restricted movement of goods and personnel due to COVID-19, DA has come up with a practical way to help farmers catch-up with the cropping season,” Oñate said.

The reimbursement scheme is just one of the efforts of the agency not to hamper the delivery of assistance to farmers and to meet rice production targets amid Covid-19 pandemic.  Recently, DA has also distributed P5,000 cash card to rice farmers to help augment their production cost and have also offered P25,000 loan assistance to rice farmers with zero interest and no collateral, payable after 10 years under the Expanded Survival and Recovery (SURE) Aid program. (Celso C. Vergara, DA11)

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