Rice is the main staple food for 75% of the population in the Philippines. Over the years, the Philippines has made tremendous growth in rice production and productivity through its Hybrid Rice Program (HRP). Need exists to improve rice production to meet the demands of the growing population. By the year 2025, the country will need 40-50% more rice than what it needs today. The promotion of hybrid rice is a challenging and time consuming task. This study assessed the HRP as perceived by farmers and extension agents. The assessment included performance of: 1) local government units-LGUs, 2) regional office of the DOA, and 3) the private sector. Current promotional program efforts were also assessed. A random sample of 257 farmers and 132 extension agents in Isabela province responded to a five- section survey instrument. Data was collected by personal interview method. Findings indicated that farmers and extension agents were positive about the overall performance of the HRP. Both rated LGUs as best, followed by the regional office, and the private sector. However, farmers and extension agents differed significantly on the performance of the private sector. Current promotional efforts were also viewed as good by both groups. Strategies for improving the HRP included sustaining the existing sectors (LGUs, private sector, regional office), coordinating joint efforts between these sectors, conducting research to develop pest and disease resistant varieties of rice, increasing financial assistance for farmers, and providing professional development opportunities for extension agents to carry out hybrid rice promotional activities.
Keywords: Assessment, Hybrid Rice Program, Philippines, Promotion, Rice Production