By: MPDC Edipolo A. Mosquito, Jr.

LGU Alegria, Surigao del Norte is considered as the rice granary of the province. With this fact, the local government unit intensified its effort to sustain rice production in the area and introduce to the farmers various programs of the Department of Agriculture.

At present, 3 sites had been identified and adopted the techno demo on Palay Check System and these are Brgys. San Juan, Alipao and Poblacion. Thirty (30) farmers are enrolled in this program wherein it is funded by the Department of Agriculture- Regional Field Unit XIII spearheaded by Agricultural Training Institute, Los Angeles, Butuan City.

In this program, farmers were trained through learning, checking and sharing of best farming practices and were provided free farm inputs during the whole cropping season. To assure increase in rice production, farmers were guided to follow the 8 steps under the program, as follows:

1. The use of recommended variety of certified palay seeds.

2. Proper field preparations prior to planting.

3. Must practice synchronous planting.

4. Sufficient application of fertilizers needed by the rice plants.

5. Sufficient nutrient of the plant from tillering to early panicle initiation and flowering.

6. Avoid excessive water or drought stress that could affect the growth and yield of the crop.

7. No significant yield loss due to pests and diseases.

8. Harvest the crop at the right time, it means 80% to 85% maturity.

During the said forum, issues were also presented and discussed such as climate change/global warming, burning of rice haul and excessive use of farm inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides that affect production, profitability and environment safety.

This whole day activity was conducted on March 5, 2010 at Alegria Municipal Development Training Center attended by more than 40 participants with Director Nenita D. Sumile of ATI together with her staff, Mayor Dominador G. Esma, Jr., SB Member Reynaldo B. Ranay and the Municipal Agriculture Office employees headed by Mrs. Bencula T. Dandan.

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