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PalayCheck trainees to sow seeds
With the soaring Philippine population comes the tall order to have more for the table without resorting to importation.
The country has posted already a 3.8 MT yield per hectare which is still low compared to what our neighboring countries have attained. Our limited rice land area, an average of 1.14 hectare could no longer be expanded but is diminishing due to land conversion.
The Department of Agriculture is determined to increase farm productivity. The Agricultural Training Institute continued to empower the agricultural extension workers for them to empower farmers to attain rice self-sufficiency in 2013.
The conduct of the season-long Training of Trainers on PalayCheck System aimed to make ithappen. The PalayCheck is a dynamic rice crop management system that presents the best key technoloy and management practices as key checks. It compares farmer practices with the best practices and learns through farmers' discussion group to sustain improvement inproductivity, profitability and environment safety.
The PalayCheck system covers areas on crop management such as seed quality, land preparation, crop establishment, nutrient management, water management, pest management, and harvest management.
The season-long training which started on December 15, 2009 and ended on April 30, 2010 had equipped 20 agricultural extension workers and 84 farmers on the principles, concepts and practices of the PalayCheck system. The 84 farmers of the Farmers' Field School came from barangays Maganhan, Hilapnitan, Maybog and Gaas in Baybay City, Leyte.
Also sown in the hearts of the participants were seeds of work values that inspired them to take even the bitter pill of farming through learning by doing. No one escaped the rigors of farming and learning even in their educational trip to the country's rice knowledge centers, the International Rice Research Institute and PhilRice.
On April 30, the participants received their certificates for completing the training. The activity marked their next step in attaining rice sufficiency, which is to sow what they learned to others for the country to reap a hundred folds.