March 2, 2024

More than 3,000 rice farmers across the country are set to engage in group marketing and agripreneurship with the intensified groundwork of the Rice Business Innovation Systems (RiceBIS) Community of Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute.
“As we gear up for the program’s Phase II, we will establish more partnerships with farmers’ organizations from eight new sites for production and agroenterprise development. We intend to engage at least 400 rice farmers per new site,” said Dr. Aurora C. Corales, RiceBIS program leader.
Twenty-one farmer organizations in eight sites are already involved in production of mushroom, brown rice, and special rice, and rice brew. Organization members were trained on production and processing, organization building and management, and agripreneurship.
In dry seasons, RiceBIS farmers achieved an overall yield increase of 1.24 tons per hectare. Average farmers’ postharvest losses in RiceBIS communities were also reduced from 16.41 percent in 2018 wet season to 14.81 percent in 2019 wet season.
Corales said the program promotes the use of yield-enhancing technologies to help farmers increase their yield by one t/ha in irrigated areas and 0.5t/ha in rainfed areas. Cost-reducing technologies like combine harvesters also cut down farm production cost by 30 percent and lowered postharvest losses by 12 percent.
“Producing rice is more profitable with guaranteed market. In RiceBIS, we encourage farmers to engage themselves in profitable rice and rice-based enterprises by teaching them how to market their products in groups and how to develop enterprises and add value to their products,” Corales said.
RiceBIS also partners with the Agricultural Training Institute, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, DA regional offices, and the local government units per site to achieve their objectives for their farmer-beneficiaries. The program is also in line with the goal of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund programs of making local farmers more competitive. – Press release