BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar, April 5 (PIA) - Some 212 rice farmers from the municipalities of Dolores, Sulat, San-Julian, Balangkayan, Maydolong and Borongan City graduated the University on the Air program of Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Office of the Provincial Agricultural Services (OPAS) on March 29, 2017 at the Provincial Gymnasium, Capitol Compound, this city.
According to Dr. Deogracias Paano, Provincial Agriculturist, since the production in Eastern Samar is still inadequate, the University on the Air program of (OPAS) decided to focus its studies on rice production.
Paano disclosed that the rice sufficiency level of the province is approximately 68% only. That’s why it still needs to be augmented to meet the rice demand of Estehanons and that Eastern Samar will not import rice anymore from outside the province.
He also cited some reasons why the province’s rice production remains low. He said only 14% of farmland is irrigated where rice needs approximately 30% of water and 70% other inputs for its growth. Most rice farmers in the province use rain-fed irrigation.
Another reason for this low rice production is the unclear dry and wet season which affect the system of planting rice.
Meanwhile in an interview with PIA, Ms. Elvira Torres, Assistant Regional Director for Research and Regulation, DA, Region-8 said that the University on the Air Program on rice farming in adverse conditions gears towards the Association of South East Asia Nation (ASEAN) Economic Community Integration, is a challenge to our farmers to be open to modern studies on how to manage rice, now that the effects of climate change are now being felt.
Torres added, that efforts were made to continue a study such as this program, since based on studies, radio remains to be the most effective and the best channel of communication since information is heard in the remotest area even as even when there is brown-out, radio only needs battery.
This study on the air is an instrument where rice farmers learn knowledge and information within two months. The program started in January 30 and ended March 28, 2017.
This program is made possible through the support of DA- Region-8 and DYES, Radyo ng Bayan, Borongan. (ajc/SDC/PIA8-E.Samar)