The Department of Agriculture’s regional office in Bicol (DA-5) has started sending 4,000 bags of inbred rice seeds to Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) provinces that were placed under a state of calamity due to severe flooding brought by the series of low pressure areas and shear line.
In a phone interview on Thursday, Lovella Guarin, DA-5 information officer, said with the donation, DA-5 aims to help in the immediate recovery of the rice areas in three of the six provinces of the said region — Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar.
“We started sending at least 750 initial bags containing 40 kilos per bag to Eastern Visayas. Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)-Bicol trucks were used to transport the rice seeds to Region 8. The delivery started early this week (Jan. 23) and is estimated to be completed before the end of the month,” Guarin said.
She said the certified or inbred rice seeds given to the three provinces were part of DA-Bicol’s buffer stock for 2022.
“This initiative was part of our agency’s directives to help another region with damaged or shortage of seed reserved caused by calamities. The buffer stock for 2022 is the remaining seed bags after we also distributed certified seeds to farmers’ groups affected by bad weather conditions in the past few days,” Guarin said.
The list of beneficiaries of the free rice seeds was derived from the report given by the municipal agriculture office (MAO) of different towns in Eastern Visayas, she noted.
“For those who still want to avail of the certified seeds, they can go to their respective MAO to ask for and inquire about necessary requirements to avail,” Guarin said. (PNA)