by Angeline Valencia
Bohol ricefields still have high potentials to produce higher yield even after the impact of the mild dry spell in the first quarter last year which dragged the total yield for the entire year.
Engr. Eugene Cahiles, head of the Bohol Agricultural Promotion Center, explained that innovative farm practice and the gradual gains of organic farming will eventually lead to maximum yield per hectare, especially with the introduction of hybrid rice seeds.
Cahiles recommended the SL-11 and SL-8 farm formula already tried in the town of Lila which produced a minimum yield of nine tons and maximum of yield of 11 tons per hectare.
In fact, Rep. Erico Aumentado and wife, Greenie, wanted to pilot the SL-11 practice in their 8,000-square-meter ricefield in Calanggaman, Ubay which used to produce 144 cavans.
Marlito Uy, president of Alturas Group of Companies, dubbed as agri-business guru in Bohol, cited that Bohol can achieve what Vietnam and Thailand have in producing 150-260 cavans of palay per hectare which stabilized their prices at P17-P18 per kilo.
Boholano farmers just need to adopt the latest technology in farming designed by BAPC.
Uy assured Boholano farmers that Marcela Farms have enough supply of organic fertilizers at a much lower cost than those sold in Cebu and Mindanao.
Marcela Farms also has the milling facilities that can polish rice grains to higher quality to help maximize the local output.
For his part, Engr. Maximino Servillon, head of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics in Bohol, confirmed that Bohol's average production per hectare only reaches 2.5 tons or 50 bags, based on field surveys and interviews with farmers.
The yield in a weighted computation, he said Siquijor produced more in every hectare and had maximized the limited irrigated and rain-fed areas they have.
Bohol remained the top producer of rice in Central Visayas in terms of volume, but produces the least on the average yield per hectare.
The data from the field surveys are released within 45 days. Municipal agriculturists report real-time data to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist. The consolidated data from the province will then be forwarded to the regional and national offices of the Department of Agriculture, contrary to allegations that random data collection is haphazard.
Bohol has a total of 19,000 hectares of irrigated areas and 30,000 hectares of rain-fed ricefields.
The computation of average yield per hectare is based on the derived yield in relation to the size of the riceland. In the first quarter last year, the average yield per hectare only reached 2.5 tons because of the effect of slight El Niño or mild dry spell on rain-fed areas. In the second semester, from June to December, the harvest improved as the larger rain-fed areas was already able to complement the production in irrigated areas.
Irrigated areas also include those relying on communal irrigation systems, small water impounding projects, small riverimpounding project, and small diversion dams, Servillon explained.(AV)