Philippines hosts 8th international rice-duck confab-A A +A
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
BUTUAN CITY -- The Philippines is currently hosting the four-day 8th International Rice-Duck Conference at the Almont Hotel's Inland Resort here.
The conference will be a gathering of integrated rice-duck farming system (IRDFS) experts and practitioners and development investors from all over Asia, to share and exchange knowledge and innovations that highlight IRDFS as a climate-smart agriculture system and a social enterprise business model for rural economic expansion and inclusive growth.
Among the distinguished guests is Dr. Takao Furono of Japan who is the founder of the IRDES network in Asia.
Accordingly, Dr. Furono's first visit to Mindanao was back in 1997 and his last visit was seven years ago in 2007.
He looks forward to learning about the many innovations in IRDFS that have happened in the country since.
During the last five years, the Integrated Rice-Duck Farming System or IRDFS experience in the Philippines, as championed by the Philippine Agrarian Reform Foundation for National Development (PARFUND), has increased rice productivity up to 9 tons per hectare, while reducing the cost of production by 30 percent.
The average is only 4.2 tons per hectare using the conventional rice farming technologies.
In addition, IRDFS farmers gain extra income from the sale of duck meat and duck eggs, whether raw or processed into salted egg or “balut” a local delicacy that is in a very high demand.
In the medium to long-term, the adoption of IRDFS will contribute to the improving the quality of life of farmers, as evidenced by increased savings and income, better family nutrition (chemical-free rice, duck meat and duck eggs), and a healthier lifestyle brought about by less exposure to harmful chemicals.
Among the provinces that are adopting IRDFS as their strategy for increasing rice production in a sustainable manner are the provinces of Agusan del Sur and Zamboanga del Sur.
Governor Adolph Edward Plaza of Agusan del Sur shall be sharing his ideas on making agriculture governance work at the provincial level, while Zamboanga del Sur Governor Antonio Cerilles will be providing a provincial outlook on IRDFS as adopted by the province of Agusan del Sur.
Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. shall welcome the participants, while Rep. Valentina Plaza of the 1st District of Agusan del Sur will grace the conference to share her congressional policy initiative on IRDFS.
The participants will also get the chance to visit a 2,500-head capacity duck breeder farm and a modern hatchery, as well as interact with the IRDFS farmers and champions, including Mayor Deo Manpatilan Jr. of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur during an exposure visit to a large-scale rice-duck farm in the said LGU.
The 8th International Rice-Duck Conference is organized by PARFUND with funding support from the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) and the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooepration (ICOO) and in partnership with the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit XIII. (PNA)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 11, 2014.