Productivity, mechanization, and post-harvest technologies

THE Central Luzon Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Research and Development Consortium (CLAARRDEC) recently conducted the Rice Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA) at the Philippine Rice Research Institute’s (PhilRice’s) Central Experiment Station in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

The event carried the theme “Diwang Makabago at Tradisyunal na Teknolohiya sa Agrikultura at Pangisdaan, Handog sa mga Pilipinong Magsasaka.”

The Rice FIESTA is an amalgamation of culture, traditions, and technology highlighting pre and postharvest machinery, biofertilizer, integrated rice and rice-based package of technology, and other technologies that were developed through the support of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

The DOST-PCAARRD, which initiated the FIESTA as a technology diffusion platform, funded the activity together with other agencies.

FIESTA is a PCAARRD event-based technology transfer modality which aims to promote science and technology (S&T) and its products towards providing competitive and profitable business ventures for the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the agriculture, aquatic and natural resources sectors of the country.

This is in line with PCAARRD’s Industry Strategic S&T Plan (ISP) for rice which primarily aims to increase rice productivity and modernize rice production and postproduction systems in the country.

The ISP focuses on topics such as rice productivity, mechanization, and postharvest technologies.

Among the agricultural machinery featured in the event include the impeller-type compact ricemill, ride-behind transplanter, combined conduction and far-infrared radiation dryer, and different attachments for hand-tractors.

The technologies are expected to realize the goal of producing healthy and sufficient rice for the Filipinos.

The activity was conducted with the support provided by Central Luzon State University, and other government agencies and private institutions like Kubota Philippines, Inc. which exhibited different farm machinery like the Kubota NSPU-68CMD Rice Transplanter, and the Kubota SR-K800PH Automatic Seeder.

Since farmers from the different provinces in the country differ in terms of the quantities of inputs used, technologies adopted, and management skills employed, these result in the varying yield and production cost among them.

To address the concern, economists from the Socioeconomics Division of PhilRice shared ways on how to narrow these gaps to help the farmers increase their productivity and income based on the findings from 33 major rice producing provinces in the Philippines.

A senior science research specialist from the Socioeconomics Division presented the results of the study Narrowing the Yield and Cost Gaps: Comparative Efficiency of Rice Farming in the Philippines.

Adopting high-quality seeds, such as hybrid, can increase yield by 1.81 metric tons per hectare (mt/ha) from the baseline yield of 4 mt/ha. A ton increase in farmers’ yield can lead to production cost reduction of P0.91 per kilogram, the researcher said.

The use of high-quality seeds and better access to irrigation water can also significantly increase farmers’ yield growth.

Higher yield and better management skills of farmers, along with their adoption of high-quality seeds and mechanized harvesting and threshing, will then reduce their production cost./PN


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