Early palay plantings pushed by agri dept
BusinessWorld, September 16, 2003

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is encouraging farmers to immediately start planting palay this month.

Agriculture Secretary Luis P. Lorenzo Jr. said in a press statement that the early planting or quick turnaround (QTA) scheme should produce an additional 308,903 metric tons of palay in the second half of the year, on top of the 7.79 million metric tons (MMT) the sector expects to harvest.

Mr. Lorenzo said the extra harvest will raise total palay production to 13.47 MMT for the whole year, slightly higher than the 13.27 MMT posted for 2002.

The anticipated palay production for the year, however, is still 5.4% short of the 14.2 MMT initial DA target.

The DA said adopting the QTA scheme will allow the recovery of an estimated 300,000 MT lost due to the El Niņo weather pattern experienced in the first half of the year.

Ginintuang Masang Ani rice program director Frisco Malabanan said certified and hybrid seeds will be planted in 69,174 hectares of irrigated rice land in Central Luzon, the Ilocos region and Socksargen in Mindanao. Hybrid seeds from the Philippine Rice Research Institute, Bayer, SL Agritech and Monsanto will be used for the program. Farmers who will participate in the scheme will be provided with two bags of fertilizer for every hectare planted.

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