Improving adaptive capacities of farmers through rice-based farming system

To increase access to adaptive technologies on rice-vegetable farming system and improve adaptive capacities of farmers, DA-CALABARZON is currently implementing a project titled, Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) on Rice-based Farming System (Rice-Vegetables+Carabao) in Barangays Cawongan and Quilo-Quilo South, Padre Garcia, Batangas. 

“An increase in capacities and knowledge of farmers to technologies adaptable to their practices and areas will contribute to the production by increasing yield and lowering costs,” project leader Pedro Bringas, Jr. said. 

In this technology, vegetable diversification using multiple cropping, inter-cropping, or planting different crops lessens pest incidences. It also promotes nutrient recycling, as well as lowering of pesticides and fertilizers to avoid oversupply and lower farm gate price of crops. 

Reports have shown that DA has adopted crop diversification as a strategy to promote agricultural development through planting cash crops in between the main crops. This helps attain the goal of the department to increase productivity and conserve the environment at the same time.  Moreover, it was proven to be an effective strategy to have income stability, increase demand for non-rice crops, and high profitability per unit area. 

With the help of DA-CALABARZON, the local government units are now in close coordination with farmers. The farmer organizations were clustered and consolidated to strengthen their knowledge on the acquired machineries and facilities for milling and drying which will help the farmers increase the value of the products with the help of DA-Regional Banner Programs. 

Under the project funded by DA-BAR, implementation and coordination meetings, and establishment of experimental sites were done to capacitate the farmer-cooperators. Trainings on the introduced technologies for commodities such as rice, vegetable, carabao, as well as community organizing, and enterprise development and financial management were also conducted. 

Quilo Quilo South Farmers Association and Cawongan Farmers Association, the identified farmer cooperative associations are now registered to the Department of Labor and Employment thereby legalizing their participation as a farmers’ association in the said initiative. 

Farmer-cooperators adopted the Package of Technology for rice production and were provided with different vegetable seeds to plant based on the technology introduced on diversified cropping. (### Diwa J. Velasquez)