Iloilo, Guimaras to Pilot Hybrid Rice Planting

Syrell Doanne V. Nietes

To increase the yield of rice farming communities in Visayas and to contribute to the attainment of nation’s rice sufficiency, the Department of Agriculture (DA) selected Iloilo and Guimaras provinces as target areas for the Rice Hybridization Program this year.

According to James Ogatis, DA Region VI information officer, hybrid rice would contribute significantly to boosting rice production.

“Eventually nag-increase gid ang yield sang aton mga farmers using hybrid rice varieties. That is why this year with the tandem of Iloilo (and Guimaras) as pilot areas for the hybridization program, nagalaom ang DA ma-adopt sang mga irrigated areas nga magtanom sang hybrid rice (Eventually, the yield of our farmers increased using hybrid rice varieties. That is why this year with the tandem of Iloilo (and Guimaras) as pilot areas for the hybridization program, the DA hopes the irrigated areas would adopt planting hybrid rice),” said Ogatis.

Further, Agriculture Secretary William Dar confirmed in a memorandum circular that hybrid rice planting has an expected yield advantage of at least one ton per hectare over traditional inbred seed varieties.

“The report of the performance of hybrid rice indicated a clear yield advantage over the certified inbred seed varieties, with farmers getting [a] yield advantage of up to five tons per hectare (hybrid yield of up to 12 t/ ha) and provinces having average yields of up to seven tons per hectare,” remarked Dar.

Dar also stated that data on the performance of commercial hybrid rice seed at the municipal and provincial levels should be disseminated for the utilization of the farmers.

“In the future, the National Rice Program and Philippine Rice Research Institute should apply the PRISM (Philippine Rice Information System) in monitoring the performance of hybrid rice varieties for more accurate and more objective yield monitoring,” added Ogatis.

Meanwhile, Ogatis said interventions for other provinces in the region are covered by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) program.

“In support to the program on high-yield rice variety, free seeds and fertilizer were distributed to farmers under the Rice Competitive Enhancement Program (RCEP) and the Bayanihan Rice Resiliency Project 2,” he mentioned.

Furthermore, three bags of fertilizer are provided to farmers with each bag of hybrid seeds through the voucher system, allowing them to access inputs from DA-accredited agri-suppliers in Western Visayas.

“Bag-o guid para sa amon nga mga mangunguma ang sini nga programa sang gobyerno, pero kabay pa nga makabulig gid ini sa amon nga mag patubas labi na guid subong nga damo nagasulod nga bugas halin iban pungsod diri sa aton (This program of the government is new to us farmers, but I hope this will help us to yield especially today that numerous rice varieties are entering here from different places),” shared Jun Malcon, 39, resident of Sibunag, Guimaras in an exclusive interview with The Augustinian.

Published: April 25, 2022