Rice plays a major role in many cultures, beliefs and nations throughout the world. In Asia alone, rice is seen as a staple food aside from corn and bread made from another important agricultural yield, wheat. Cultures also favour the use of rice in certain ceremonies, hence the tradition of scattering rice grains during weddings for it symbolizes prosperity and fertility: a wish that is most offered to newly weds even here in the Philippines.
But rice is more known as a staple food, and being the most popular food choice for Filipinos all over the world. Some Pinoys would probably agree that a meal would not be complete without a hot bowl of freshly steamed rice. Indeed, a meal so delicious such as adobo or bulalo could not possibly be complete without the mildly sweet and aromatic gustatory experience that comes with a fresh plate of rice.
The Philippines is classified as an agricultural or marine country but the emphasis falls more on the agricultural field. Quezon province offers that much of agricultural expertise in producing coconuts and copra but is equally competitive when it comes to rice cultivation and production. And just last February 11, Palay Check was introduced to Brgy.Ibabang Iyam in the city of Lucena. This was through the initiative and cooperation between the Department of Agriculture and the 2nd District of Quezon under father and son team Sec. Procy Acala and Cong. Irvin Alcala plus Vice Mayor Don-Don Alcala. The project started with the orientation of more than 100 farmers in the area. The farmers were introduced to the different aims of the said project, including things to expect from the project.
Project Palay Check Lucena was launched with the welfare of the farmers and the province’s rice industry in mind. The project will teach the farmers techniques in rice cultivation that will assist them in providing better plant yields and more convenient cultivation systems. The project trainers present during the kick off are Ms. Cecile Guevarra and Mr. Jaypee Azucena and agricultural technician Tedy Ilao. The trainers will be the ones to guide the farmers in developing rice cultivation measures all through out the 16-week program.
Contents of the program include teaching the farmers effective and safe ways in planting rice organically. Organic produce are considerably more challenging to grow and harvest due to the fact that no artificial pesticides or fertilizers are utilized throughout the cultivation process. Systematic rice planting, color sorting and ocular inspection of rice plants as well as pest knowledge are included in the program. The project will take more of a hands-on approach in teaching the farmers.
The project aims not just to teach the farmers in developing their ways of farming, it is a form of assistance to the farmers of Lucena and probably soon, to the farmers of the whole of Quezon. Bountiful harvests are ensured through proper planting and training on the part of the farmers; as well as support and encouragement on the part of the public servants of the province.