Leads Agriventures (LAV), a subsidiary of LEADS Agricultural Products Corp. (LAPC), put the spotlight on its hybrid seeds, Jackpot 102 and LAV 777, at the 17th National Rice Technology Forum held last March 19 to 21, 2024 at Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija, attracting interest amongst farmers about hybrid rice seeds and its benefits. Helmed by the National Rice Board and organized by the Department of Agriculture Central Luzon and in collaboration with the Office of Provincial Agriculturist in Nueva Ecija and the Municipal Agriculture Office of Sto. Domingo, the 17th National Rice Technology Forum (NRTF) is a biannual event nationwide where different stakeholders in the agricultural industry showcase their hybrid rice seeds and other crop protection products which farmers can use in their farming business.

The event was organized in line with the current administration’s food security campaign in the country through the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program and the Rice Industry Stakeholders. The bi-annual event is also a collaboration among national government agencies such as DA and the Agricultural Training Institute, local government units, local farmers, private sectors and farming experts.

Innovation with heart

For years, LEADS has been at the forefront of helping farmers achieve success, as their livelihood is the country’s top economic contributor. Bearing the mission and vision of LEADS, Leads Agriventures has made it a point to innovate products, particularly hybrid rice seeds. Part of its growing lineup of products developed with utmost care and wisdom are its hybrid rice seeds.

Jackpot 102 (NSIC 666H) is the first hybrid rice seed variety introduced and distributed by LAV way back in 2019. Through the years, Jackpot has already proven its place in the hybrid rice seed industry by ranking in the Top 5 varieties preferred by farmers during Rice Derbies.

LAV 777 (NSIC Rc 656H), on the other hand, is LAV’s latest variety offered to rice farmers. Launched last year in Occidental Mindoro, LAV 777 has the traits of a superior hybrid rice. A genetically high-yielding and Bacterial Leaf Blight tolerant variety partnered with LAV’s “Sapat na Alaga Protocol” is projected to help rice farmers attain high yields without excessive production costs.

“‘Yung NRTF, pino-promote niya ‘yung sustainable agriculture by showcasing high-yielding climate-resistant rice varieties to our farmers. So para ma-increase ‘yung productivity, yield, at profitability ni farmer, syempre kailangan din natin mag-mechanize ng ating [agricultural needs],” Leadstech Corporation (LTC)’s Logistics Manager Eden Mae Pono shared when asked about the essence of joining events similar to the NRTF. With the help of Leadstech, these machineries and new technologies are conducive with the products LAV are offering, like the hybrid rice seeds.

Attendees of the NRTF, farmers, students, and other stakeholders, were also given the chance to have a taste test of the cooked Jackpot 102 hybrid rice seeds to give them a chance to experience the quality firsthand.

Reaching more farmers across the archipelago. With the growing number of farmers continuously supporting LEADS and making it their provider for farming needs, the company made sure to reach and help more Filipino farmers across the country.

The creation of the DigiSaka app, a comprehensive mobile app which keeps track of every farmer and their basic farming information, coincides with the aforementioned goal, and was then part of the three-day event with LEADS employees gathering a total of 786 farmers.

LAPC’s IT Manager Joel Caburnay said that the app helps them keep track of every farmer connected with LEADS, overall giving the company the privilege of offering its products and helping more farmers of different crops optimize their yields.

“Ang DigiSaka ay ang first step namin to know more about farmers’ lifestyles. [Target namin] na ma-endorse ang magsasaka sa modern technology […] at makatulong sa kanila moving forward. Ang advantage ng application na ito is mag update ng eksaktong forecast at ng panahon, seven days earlier,” Caburnay said.

Agricultural education amongst the youth. Coinciding with the NRTF festivities was the Lakbay Palay initiative by DA-PhilMec to gather more farmers and educate students about the state of the agricultural sector in the country. With the theme “Bida ang sama-sama para sa mas masaganang Bagong Pilipinas,” the initiative was attended by students from different state universities and colleges in the region.

Central Luzon State University President Dr. Evaristo Abella shared during his keynote speech the initiatives and innovations of CLSU in providing practical and accessible technologies in the field of agriculture.

“To encourage more youth to be engaged in agriculture will be our way to a sustainable future. With all of our initiatives and efforts, we believe that we can keep agriculture as a way of life,” Abella said.

LEADS for the Filipino farmer

With the LEADS continuously making efforts to join initiatives like the NRTF and Lakbay Palay, it’s an understatement to say that the people behind every effort made are merely doing it for the fulfillment of day’s work. If such were the case, LEADS wouldn’t last almost three decades in the industry.

With Filipino farmers at the forefront of its priorities when it comes to building its reputation, LEADS proves once again that it can be a big player at a multinational level with its word-class quality of products and services, while at the same time remaining loyal and faithful to its Filipino roots.