HomeUswag Journal: Philippine Journal of Multidisciplinary Researchvol. 1 no. 1 (2023)

Rice farming in Catanduanes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Nicca Aira A Marquez | Fe M Valledor

Discipline: Agriculture

 

Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected the agricultural food system in the Philippines and abroad. This study focused on describing the status of rice farming in Catanduanes before and during the pandemic in four aspects namely production, post-harvest activities, marketing, and government intervention, and determining the perceived immediate impact of the pandemic on rice farming in the province. One-hundred thirty (130) rice farmers from all 11 municipalities were considered as the respondents of the study, which covers the first and second cropping of 2019 and 2020. Respondents of this study were mostly male tenants cultivating an average size of 1.375 ha of land with less than PHP 5,000.00 monthly income, while 50% of them are members of farmers’ or irrigators’ associations. The results of the study described that rice production during the pandemic was not hampered due to the lockdown since farmers’ mobility was not restricted. However, production costs changed due to the increased labor and fertilizer costs. Post-harvest costs also increased due to the increase in rice milling and transportation rental. The price of well-milled rice per kg and the number of bags of well-milled rice sold by farmers also increased during the pandemic. On the other hand, the government intensified the provision of free fertilizer and seeds to address the increasing cost of farm inputs. Although the conduct of training and techno-demo were limited during the pandemic, ATI in collaboration with local authorities made a way to provide online techno-gabay programs to farmers. The higher cost of transportation is perceived to be the most influencing effect caused by Covid-19 that affects rice farming in Catanduanes. It was observed that members of the farmers’ associations are informed of the projects and programs of the Department of Agriculture and can acquire production input support for their farms. This study emphasizes the empirical role of community organizations in these times of crisis.



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