CARES farmers train on improved rice production techs, receive farm inputs

Written by Administrator on 11 July 2022

Preparing for this year’s wet season in the MMSU Coordinated Agribusiness, Research, and Extension System (CARES) Farm, the University trains some 55 members of the MMSU Unified Irrigators Association in a Pre-Dispersal training this July 11, 2022.

Highlighting relevant information and technologies this cropping season, the pre-dispersal training provided the farmer-cooperators with various practices on rice production that will improve their volume of produce.  Plans and other activities in making the consolidated rice farm as a Model Farm in the province were also discussed.

“We are delighted to see the members of the association actively participating in this pre-dispersal training because it shows your receptiveness to the technologies we share and the plans we dream in our CARES Farm”, Dr. Marilou Lucas, Director for Extension, shared.

Reaching four years now, the MMSU CARES Farm incorporates new facilities in the 23-hectare demo farm such as solar-powered pump and irrigation canals. It also showcases modernized farming now with its transplanter and harvesters donated by partner agencies. “Let us continue making this demo farm a Model Farm and take our best practices in the Phase 2 to be established in our Tabug farmlands”, VPRE Nathaniel Alibuyog expressed.

In a review of their productivity for the last three years, Dr. Sherlyn Nicolas, Chief for Monitoring and Evaluation, said the farmers generally harvested more than their produce prior to their involvement in the CARES Farm. This 2021 cropping season, the farmer-cooperators gained an average of 3.55 tons per hectare despite the calamities during the season. Ms. Charito Samsam gained the highest productivity with 1,683 kilograms in their 3,000 sq.m area, translating a potential harvest of 5.6 tons per hectare using NSIC Rc 160 (Tubigan 14).

Technology interventions used in the project include the use of: 1) drought-resistant rice or early maturing (Sahod-ulan) and flood-tolerant (Tubigan) varieties; Bio-N as inoculant; carrageenan plant growth promoter; and organic fertilizer. Seedstocks and fertilizers were distributed right after the pre-dispersal training.

The association also signed new agreement with the University during the signing of their individual contracts witnessed by the University Legal Counsel, Atty. Saniata Marcos and VP Alibuyog.

“Fortifying our support to the agriculture sector, we will be piloting the demonstration of other high value crops such as corn, garlic, and tomato in our CARES Farm”, Dr. Lucas, added.

The CARES Farm was established in 2019 with Project Leader, Engr Michael Duldulao as a melting pot of transformative strategies for agribusiness, research, and extension through an improved and efficient interdepartmental and cross-institutional coordination. The program consolidated the farmland and assisted the farmer-cooperators through the Seedstock Dispersal Project of the Extension Directorate.

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