The standing planted crops for certified seed production for Region VI decreased to 800 hectares for 2011 seed production, Agriculturist Au Larupay of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit said yesterday.
Larupay said the number did not reach half of the planting crop of 2010. To complement the farmer's needs, DA-RFU conducted several trainings and seminars on seed production and purification to teach seed growers how to grow quality and purified seeds.
Before, farmers could directly buy certified seed at the National Food Authority at P600 and the remaining P600 is subsidized by DA. Since the seed subsidy was stopped, seed growers have to be equipped with the right knowledge and technology in producing quality and certified seeds, Larupay said.
In Negros Occidental, the DA-RFU and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, trained 33 farmer-leaders, rice cluster, agricultural technicians, and seed growers for certified seed production, she said.
The DA has the responsibility of providing the skills and information to village farmers to ensure seed sustainability, Larupay added.
He also said that once they can produce quality seeds, they will be able to sell the same quality and purified seeds at a lower cost. They can price it from P800 to P1,000 per bag. They can still buy certified seeds at NFA, however, it will be sold to them at P1,200, she added.*LTG