Bayer is continuing its seed processing and distribution operations in its Calamba, Laguna and Pulilan, Bulacan facilities to support the Plant, Plant, Plant Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and ensure food availability amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Plant, Plant, Plant Program is also called Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (Alpas) Kontra Covid-19.

As the business sector was adversely affected by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine extension, the DA reaffirmed the importance of unhampered movement of food and agricultural products. This includes home quarantine exemptions for agribusiness personnel and those involved in processing and distributing agricultural inputs.

With those guidelines in place, Bayer has responded by mobilizing its product supply and logistics teams to prepare hybrid rice and corn seeds for timely delivery to its channels.

“We are looking at having bulk of our Arize hybrid rice seeds and Dekalb hybrid corn seeds available to farmers before end of April,” said Bayer Crop Science Country Commercial lead Iiinas Ivan Lao.

“We appreciate the commitment given by the Department of Agriculture to help our farmers and for recognizing early on that farmers need good performing seeds if we expect to sustain our food production capabilities,” he added.

Bayer is expecting more corn farmers to plant the Dekalb hybrid corn seeds since they have built-in resistance against the Fall Armyworm. The company has intensified its processing and distribution of rice and corn seeds in response to the DA’s call to support farm inputs so early planting of crops could be executed to counter the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown.

For its Arize hybrid rice seeds, the Bigante Plus variant is one of the most popular products in the market and recommended for wet season planting since it has bacterial leaf blight tolerance.

As part of its commitment to safety, Bayer has deployed a skeletal workforce in its plant facilities and set up protocols involving proper hygiene and social distancing.

“While we want to serve the needs of our corn and rice farmers, safety remains a top priority for all our employees,” said Lao.

“We have established stringent safety measures at our plant facilities to minimize the risk of Covid-19 infection among our employees and agencies,” he added.

The safety measures cover the entire operational cycle from transportation of its workers to and from the site and all the activities being done to process the seeds and ship them to agriculture distributors across the country.

“Since we’re expecting less face-to-face interaction with customers and farmers due to the quarantine, we encourage them to interact with us via text message or through our local Facebook page,” Lao added.