MP seeder awarded to DA-Tupi RES and Sultan Kudarat

DA-BAR and DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) led the turnover of the multipurpose grain (MP) seeder to the DA-Tupi Research and Experiment Station (Tupi RES) and Provincial Government of Sultan Kudarat on 24 August 2022. 

Dr. Sailila E. Abdula, DA-BAR OIC-director, led the ceremony together with DA-PhilRice officials, DA-SOCCSKSARGEN OIC-regional executive director Dennis Arpia, Tupi RES chief Dr. Aileen Alvarez, and provincial agriculturists from South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat. 

Director Abdula emphasized the importance of collaborations between the government and research institutions in innovating solutions to improve the farm efficiency and productivity of our rice farmers. 

“DA-PhilRice and UPLB are working on developing integrated crop management practices under the mechanized scheme to improve crop establishment and optimal fertilizer recommendations suited for rainfed lowland areas of various provinces,” he said. 

He challenged Tupi RES, one of the recipients of the MP Seeder, to maximize this unit and ensure that it will be sustainably used. 

“We [hope] that farmers [from Tupi] can benefit from it and it can be used for a longer period of time. Capacitate our farmers on the latest technologies on rice production. I believe DA-PhilRice is always open to help you with your technical queries and concerns,” he added. 

The MP seeder is a mechanized seeding technology attached to a two-wheel hand tractor. It can sow seeds in a hectare of rice, corn, and mungbean in four hours with only one operator; thus, reducing labor cost. It is expected to become a business opportunity for farmer organizations, service providers, and local manufacturers for agricultural machinery. 

The event was part of the DA-BAR-funded project also aimed at increasing income in rice-based rainfed and water-scarce environments in the Philippines. (### Kathleen Mae B. Bulquerin)