binayAs per recent information available it has been indicated that rice farmers can expect to get more assistance from his administration should he end up in Malacañang next year. The Opposition standard bearer took a dig at the Aquino government for extending “very little support to our rice farmers” despite the fact that Filipinos consider the grain a staple. During a visit to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Laguna Binay said it is crucial that we give our farmers the assistance they need to improve their harvest and make farming profitable. He cited a PhilRice study that said Filipino rice farmers are getting relatively low government support compared to their peers in Asia.

He gives a statement While China offers free inbred seeds to farmers and free hybrid seeds to cooperative members but our government give zero subsidies for seeds or fertilizers. Fertilizer costs around P1,188 per 50-kilogram bag. Rice farmers use around four bags per hectare, so that means they have to spend almost R5,000 on fertilizer alone. This is because of such steep price, mostly farmers are forced to scrimp on fertilizers and this, in turn, affects their yield.

Binay commit to push for community seed banking, seed buffer stocking, and linking of seed producers with credit conduits–all of which could help lessen the cost of seeds. He also gives subsidies for fertilizers and encourages local government units (LGUs) to teach their farmers how to produce their own fertilizers and he had learned that in Bayawan, Negros Oriental, the city government gives four bags of fertilizers for every 70 bags of organic fertilizer a farmer produced. This initiative helps the farmers save around P5,000 and should be replicated by other LGUs.

IRRIGATION WOES

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Indian Queen Basmati Rice by Bharat Industrial Enterprises Limited

Binay lamented the fact that local farmers had to pay an irrigation fee of P2,000 per hectare during the wet season and around P3,000 during the dry season. Irrigation is free in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Filipino farmers, on the other hand, may waive payment for irrigation only if their crops have been damaged due to calamities. He also said to help our farmers save up on this our administration will intensify irrigation schemes initiated by the National Irrigation Administration through infrastructure and technology. Furthermore, We will also improve water resource management and planning through research, and train local farmers as an operational intervention to increase manpower and double the area of irrigated lands.

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