Words and Photos by Radel Llagas
Officials from Department of Agriculture CALABARZON (DA CALABARZON), representatives from Philippine Rice Research Institute – Los Baños (PhilRice Los Baños), Agriculture Training Institute Region IV-A (ATI IV-A), and Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) – National Seed Quality Control Services (NSQCS) and Provincial Agriculturists in the region discussed the creation of the Regional Task Force for the implementation of Farmers’ Production and Exchange of High Quality Inbred Rice Seeds (SEEDEX) project on May 8, 2018 at the Conference Room of Regional Marketing Information Center Bldg. in BPI Compound, Visayas Ave., Diliman, Quezon City. The SEEDEX project aims to strengthen use of quality seeds of appropriate inbred varieties in the various rice-producing provinces of all 16 regions, but with relatively less emphasis in those prioritized for hybrid rice production. According to Regional Technical Director for Operations Milo D. delos Reyes, the SEEDEX project in the region will give more focus on areas wherein the number of seed growers is lacking and to this end continuous coordination with the Provincial Agriculturists is a must. The Regional Task Force will be headed by the Regional Technical Director for Operations and will be composed of BPI-NSQCS, PhilRice Los Baños, ATI Region IV-A, Regional Rice Focal Person, Regional Seed Coordinator, and Provincial Agritourists, as members. The DA Field Programs Operational Planning Division will serve as the task force secretariat. Regional Rice Focal Person Enrique H. Layola presented the implementing guidelines for SEEDEX project. He said that a communication will be sent to seek nominations from the member-agencies and then a special order will be issued to formalize the creation of the Regional Task Force and the composition thereof. One of the responsibilities of the said task force is to ensure availability of preferred varieties to clusters nationwide by coordinating seed production of Registered Seed Class with the National SEEDEX Task Force.