Invest in education of farmers -–– Jiggy

February 21, 2019

BROADCAST journalist and now senatorial candidate Jiggy Manicad said that aside from irrigation, one of the more important aspects of rice production is knowledge about farming in order for Filipino farmers to “catch up” to Southeast Asian neighbors who have leveled up in skills and technology.

Manicad, who is pushing for the appointment of more scientists in the Department of Agriculture, said a good knowledge about rice production could boost harvest tenfold.

“Ang kaalaman sa pagtanim ng palay ay importante. Bakit hindi natin sila dalhin sa International Rice Research Institute {IRRI} sa Laguna?” he said.

He noted that the IRRI was once “the learning lab” of farmers from Thailand and Vietnam.

“Now these two countries are quite successful in rice production and we even import from them,” he said.

The multi-awarded journalist plans to establish a network of farmers from the barangays who would be eligible for government-funded studies at the premier rice research firm.

At the IRRI, he said, farmers would be exposed to technologically advanced practices in high-yield rice production such as learning when best to plant, what variety suits the growing conditions, when to weed, whether to fertilize or not, how to control pests and how to protect the harvest.