Farmers may now claim their free certified inbred rice seeds from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) – Seed Program through the digital Binhi e-Padala system.
In the Binhi e-Padala system, the Institute sends an SMS to a farmer’s validated mobile number indicating his/her name, allocation, pick-up point, and assigned schedule.
Farmers may select at least three preferred varieties based on recommended national and regional varieties. Partner seed grower cooperatives and associations manage the seed distribution.
Dr. Flordeliza H. Bordey, head of the RCEF-Seed Program Management Office, said the system will shorten farmers’ queuing time in getting seeds, improve the program’s logistics, facilitate next-day payment to seed grower cooperatives for their distributed seeds, and save on transportation costs.
Some 7,000 farmers from Kalinga, Ilocos Sur, Quirino, Pampanga, Bulacan, Laguna, Albay, Southern Leyte, Negros Occidental, Davao Del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Lanao Del Norte are currently enrolled in the new system this 2021 wet season.
Under RCEF, qualified farmers in 42 provinces receive 20kg of certified inbred seeds for every half hectare.
“We hope to distribute seeds to more farmers using this digital system. Hence, we remind our farmers to provide a valid mobile number when they register to the RSBSA,” Bordey said.
DA-PhilRice launched and piloted this short-messaging service (SMS) in 21 cities/municipalities together with 13 seed cooperatives across the country for faster and easier seed distribution.
Farmers Maria Gordula, 46, of Siniloan, Laguna and Artemio Tabada, 61, of Bago City, Negros Occidental said the Binhi e-Padala distribution system is fast and timely.
The RCEF-Seed Program – a component of the Rice Tariffication Law, allocates P3 billion fund every year for the seed requirements of rice farmers and to help farmers produce rice that can compete in the international market. Farmers under this program can also avail of trainings, machines, and credit with low interest.
The local government units and lawmakers assist in its implementation. PhilRice leads the RCEF-Seed Program, and is the government’s lead agency on rice research and development mandated to help ensure a rice-secure Philippines. With eight stations across the country, its programs and projects are in line with the DA’s “Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita” battlecry.