Ambassador Huang Xilian inspects the work resumption of the Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology-Technical Cooperation Program Phase III
2020/07/07

On July 7, Ambassador Huang Xilian had a video conference with the Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology. He highly appreciated the progress the Center had made over the past two decades, whose three phases of technical cooperation programs set a good example of the bilateral agricultural cooperation and contributed to the agricultural development and livelihood improvement in the Philippines. He commended the Center’s response to the Covid-19 epidemic and their efforts to overcome the difficulties and ensure the orderly implementation of the program. In light of the severity of the pandemic, he advised the Center to take a targeted and scientific approach, modify their management strategies in accordance to the evolving pandemic situation, and make every effort to ensure the safety of the staff. He encouraged them to strictly follow their program plans and promote the production of hybrid rice, so as to help the local farmers lift productivity and incomes. Ambassador Huang also encouraged them to cultivate a group of agricultural technical experts together with the Philippine side, in order to achieve the localization of products, technologies, and talents.

The Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology-Technical Cooperation Program (Phase III) was launched in October 2018. The Chinese implementing agency is Yuan Longping High-tech Agriculture Co., Ltd., while the Philippine counterparts are the Department of Agriculture and the Central Luzon State University. With the joint efforts of both sides, the program has made great progress and completed training tasks ahead of schedule, providing 1334 Filipino trainees with the on-site technological trainings such as hybrid rice seeding, cultivation and mechanical transplanting and the activities like Farmer Fields Days. Over the past three cropping seasons, the program has cultivated 5,960 pieces of breeding materials with improved crop traits, 3,239 test mating pairs, and 1,958 heterosis combinations and finally selected 58 hybrid heterosis combinations and 9 combinations with excellent traits such as high yields, good quality, and high resistance.

Meanwhile, the program has established the techno-demo farms with a total area of 34 hectares in provinces like Tarlac, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and Davao Oriental, cultivating 5 varieties of hybrid rice and achieving a yield 20% over the local ones. It has also built up a large-scale hybrid rice planting demonstration site of 260 hectares and provided the on-site agricultural services for over 730 farming households. So far, it has produced a total of 18,000 hectares of hybrid rice, increased the yield by 21,000 tons and brought benefits to over 9,370 households.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19, the Center has put great emphasis on the pandemic control and prevention. On February 5, they had a conference to plan out the prevention and control measures. Since then, they have adjusted working plan, adopted flextime schedules, taken the stringent management over the on-site staff, provided all the staff with sufficient anti-pandemic supplies, and sanitized the site on a daily basis.

90% of the Chinese and Filipino staff are now working on the program that has resumed 90% capacity, with no confirmed case. With the Philippines entering the rainy season, it’s now a perfect time for rice farming. The Center has already supplied the techno-demo farms with sufficient production materials such as seeds, pesticides and fertilizers and deployed 9 Chinese experts on site to ensure the orderly implementation of the program.

 

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