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FROM THE MANILA TIMES: ‘Abonong Swak’ campaign launched

Author: DA Communications Group | 12 May 2022

THE Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has rolled out its “Abonong Swak” campaign to help farmers cope with the hurdles in rice cultivation amid the rising prices of inputs, particularly fertilizer and fuel.

Department of Agriculture deputy spokesman Dr. Rodolfo Estigoy said the Abonong Swak campaign supports the agency’s Balanced Fertilization Strategy, highlighting the importance of combining organic and inorganic fertilizer to reduce production costs while ensuring yield.

“We are launching this campaign in the PhilRice headquarters in Nueva Ecija and later in Panay and Bohol. This information campaign aims to widen the utilization of both organic and inorganic fertilizers. We should not depend on inorganic fertilizers that we have to import from other countries,” he said.

In collaboration with the Department of Agriculture regional offices, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), PhilRice initiated the info drive in low-yielding provinces and will also put up demonstration sites nationwide to showcase the Abonong Swak technology. PhilRice, ATI and BSWM are agencies under the Agriculture department.

Meanwhile, Dr. Diadem Gonzales-Esmero, chief of the PhilRice Development Communication Division, explained to farmers the different recommended combinations of inorganic and organic fertilizers based on targeted production volume.

The Combo 1 entails 3,000 to 4,000 kilograms (kgs) per hectare (ha) target production; Combo 2 has 5,000 to 6,000 kgs per ha target production; while Combo 3 includes 7,000 to 8,000 kgs per ha target production.

Following the Abonong Swak technology, farmers could save P2,000 to P4,000 a hectare.

Meanwhile, the PhilRice Negros unit rolled out the distribution of certified inbred seeds to 50 farmers each from the municipalities of San Remigio in Antique; Numancia, Aklan; and Mambusao, Capiz. A total of 194,280 bags of certified inbred seeds has been apportioned under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund for Panay farmers this wet planting season.

The allotted seeds will be planted in at least 97,000 ha of target farms in Aklan, Antique and Capiz.


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