Calamba City, April 13, 2020 –
Bayer has continued its seed processing and distribution operations in its Calamba, Laguna and Pulilan, Bulacan plant facilities in a bid to support the government’s food resiliency program, particularly the ALPAS Kontra COVID-19 or Plant, Plant, Plant Program.
As the business sector is adversely affected by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine extension, the Department of Agriculture reaffirmed the importance of unhampered movement of food and agricultural products.
This includes home quarantine exemptions for agribusiness personnel and those involved in processing and logistics of agricultural inputs.
With these guidelines in place, Bayer has responded by mobilizing its product supply and logistics teams to prepare hybrid rice and hybrid corn seeds for timely delivery to its channels.
“We are looking at having bulk of our Arize® hybrid rice seeds and DEKALB® hybrid corn seeds available to farmers before end of April,” said Bayer Crop Science Country Commercial Lead Iiinas Ivan Lao.
“We appreciate the commitment given by the Department of Agriculture to help our farmers and for recognizing early on that farmers need good performing seeds if we expect to sustain our food production capabilities.”
Bayer is expecting more corn farmers to plant their DEKALB hybrid corn seeds having built-in resistance against Fall Armyworm, which has been a significant insect pest concern for farmers in the previous planting seasons.
Bayer’s intensified supply of rice and corn seeds is in response to the Department of Agriculture’s call to support farm inputs in light of early planting aimed at countering the effects of COVID 19 lockdown.
The program is called “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19″ or also known as the Plant, Plant, Plant Program.
For its Arize® hybrid rice seeds, Bigante Plus is one of the most popular products in the market and recommended for wet season planting with bacterial leaf blight or BLB tolerance.
The Department of Agriculture aims to provide financial assistance to farmers in the form of cash subsidy and inputs to encourage them to plant & harvest early in order to maintain the country’s inventory level of rice in the succeeding months. Support was also committed for corn farmers.
“While we want to serve the needs of our corn and rice farmers, safety remains a top priority for all our employees,” said Lao.
“We have established stringent safety measures at our plant facilities to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection among our employees and agencies.”
As part of its commitment to safety, Bayer deployed a skeletal workforce in its plant facilities and set up protocols involving proper hygiene and social distancing.
These steps cover the entire operational cycle from transportation of its workers to and from the site and all the activities being done to process the seeds and ship them to agriculture distributors across the country.
“Since we’re expecting less face to face interaction with customers and farmers due to the quarantine, we encourage them to interact with us via text message or through our local Facebook page,” added Lao. Bayer’s text messaging service, called Bayer TXT Connect, aims to address any inquiries about its agriculture products. Farmers can send their name, location, and message to 21586727 for Globe/TM or 225656727 for Smart/TNT/Sun. Alternatively, they can also visit their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/BayerCropSciencePH/ for inquiries via Messenger.Bryan P. Rivera