Talibon, Bohol—To address the issue of rice production productivity and other issues concerning rice, the Department of Agriculture and the Rice Productivity Advocacy Inc. (Rice Board) recently conducted the annual National Rice Technology Forum here.
The forum tackled agriculture and food security and highlighted the different rice varieties of the various seed companies.
SeedWorks Philippines was one of the private companies that joined the event. The company featured its famous brown rice to the participants led by their celebrity Chef “Boy” Logro.
SeedWorks encouraged the farmers to plant hybrid rice because of several benefits like a higher yield, more stress resilient, and higher disease resistance, among others. Moreover, the firm plans to impart sustainable farming to Filipino farmers to ensure they acquire a healthy and productive lifestyle.
With these factors and the use of hybrid rice varieties in farming like the popular US-88 from SeedWorks Philippines, it would rationally be easier for the country to finally attain rice self-sufficiency and be healthier in no time, forum participants said.
The US-88 rice variety brings greater yields with premium long and soft grain ideal to be used for brown rice, the company said.
Local farmers in Talibon, Bohol expressed their eagerness to continue using the US-88 variety. Farmer cooperators Aristol Daitol and wife, Cristina, said: “A lot of our co-farmers are excited to see the fruit of their labor, which definitely exceeded their expectations.”
Rice production has been and always been a major challenge for the government. Several administrations have been looking for solutions to help Filipino farmers achieve higher productivity in planting rice.
No less than Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol pointed out that the Philippine agricultural sector is confronted with many challenges such as population growth, conversion of agricultural lands to commercial applications, climate change, and global competition.
Piñol commended the NRTF with this year’s theme “Increased Rice Production through Hybrid Technology,” pointing out that hybrid varieties yield 1 metric ton (MT) per hectare more than inbred seeds.
In 2017 alone, he said the country experienced a bumper harvest of 928 million metric tons of palay, a 9.36 % increase from 2016, resulting in a 2.7 million MT surplus. Developing hybrid technology is part of DA’s rice security, Piñol added.
Part of the activity in Talibon was a field tour of the 23-hectare rice demo farms. Talibon Mayor Restituto Auxtero said the town’s production yield has increased from 5 to 8 MT since farmers are now using hybrid rice.
Auxtero encourages rice farmers to use hybrid rice to increase their production. This, he said, will contribute in the increase of the overall average production yield of Bohol from 3.9 MT to 5MT.
At least 12 types of hybrid rice were presented to the participants at the forum.
Although farmers in the different parts of the country are already planting hybrid rice, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Agriculture Office, Dr. Larry Pamugas, said: “there is still a lot to be done in terms of enhancing the knowledge of farmers of planting hybrid rice and modern agriculture technology.”
“Increasing the national average of rice production will require the contribution not only of the major rice-growing areas of the country. Elevating the production in Central Visayas is in line with the roadmap in achieving rice sufficiency at an affordable price,” Dr. Pamugas added.
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