TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: Farmers in Cagayan Valley are adopting a drought-resistant rice variety recommended to them by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to combat the effects of the long dry spell that has resulted in the loss of more than P2 billion worth of crops in the region.
Ernesto Guzman, DA-Region 2 chief of operations, said they are introducing the rice variety called “green super rice” (GSR) to help farmers’ cope with the effects of the prolonged El Niño phenomenon.
He said farmers in the towns of Amulung and Lallo in Cagayan; Cauayan City in Isabela; and Mad¬dela town in Quirino–areas in Caga¬yan Valley that suffered the most from natural calamities–were the first recipients of the said variety.
Guzman explained the GSR variety is a product of research on drought resistant crops and this suits the environment in Cagayan Valley. Region 2 is vulnerable to a prolonged dry spell weather condition during summer up to the third quarter of this year.
“GSR variety could survive during dry season and could produce yields even without pesticides and less fertilizer inputs. Based on our thorough research, the green super rice variety has a better yield and higher production compared to the usual varieties planted by farmers,” he added.
The DA office in Region 2 has initially allocated more than 3,000 sacks of GSR for distribution to farmers in the areas most affected by the long dry spell and those recently hit by the onslaught of typhoons and floodings.
“Our policy is to provide one sack of green super rice variety per family to give chance to others to avail of the said variety,” Guzman said.
Meanwhile, DA officials said research expansion is being conducted in the towns of Iguig and Gonzaga in Cagayan; and towns of of Alicia and Burgos and Santiago City in Isabela to boost production of GSR seeds to be distributed to more farmers in the region.
“We would like to assure our farmers in Cagayan Valley of the GSR variety’s good quality as staple food which will surely be patronized by consumers,” Guzman added.
LEANDER C. DOMINGO