Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Albay techno demo-farm shows hybrid rice thrives even on rainy season

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 26 (PIA) -- Unmindful of the drizzle and the distance to walk the 20-hectare technology-farm here, 74-year old Alberto Rivera of Labo, Camarines Norte said “kailangan namin ito kasi malaking tulong na makita namin ang mga hybrid rice varieties na maganda ang tubo kasi ang lugar namin ay apektado ng El Niño (we need this because it is a big help for us to see the hybrid rice varieties that are growing well since our rice fields were affected by El Niño).”

Rivera is one of the more than 1500 rice farmers, agricultural technicians and municipal/city agricultural officers all over the Bicol Region who visited the compact farm in Balangibang, Polangui Albay which was cited by the National Rice Board (NRB) as the biggest techno-demo farm in the Philippines.

“This is the first hybrid rice demo-farm for wet season and the first in the Bicol Region,” said Dr. Frisco Malabanan, spokesperson of the National Rice Board (NRB).

Edgar Pesebre, farm owner and local farmer technician designated by Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol, welcomed the visitors in his “Palayamanon ni Tiyo Edgar” learning center which was also the orientation site before the field tour.

According to Pesebre, 25 farmer participants in the techno-demo started sowing seeds on June 13, 2016. The seed varieties include 14 hybrid rice and 11 inbred (300 series) varieties.

“The hybrid rice varieties include TH 82 of US Agri-Seeds; Bigante Plus of Bayer- Philippines; SL 12 and SL 18 of SL Agritek; PhD 77 and 79 of Pioneer-Dupont; S6003 and NK5017 of Syngenta; Mestiso 19 of PhilRice; and Chinese Hybrid Rice Lomping of PhilScat, “ he said.

Other rice varieties include submergence varieties being developed by Bayer-Philippines and Inbred Variety-300 series for saline and submergence ecosystem. Bayer and Pioneer companies also provided farm machineries.

Although the documented farms were affected by flood and attacked by rats, Pesebre assured the farmers that all the rice varieties were not significantly damaged due to proper cultural management and technology introduced by assisting technicians of LGU-Polangui and private companies.

The techno farm thus showed the resiliency of hybrid rice in withstanding extreme weather conditions such as during rainy and wet season.

Junnel V. Llagas, one of the assisting agricultural technicians of Polangui attributed the success of the program to the close coordination of the DA, farmer-cooperators, and technicians from LGU-Polangui and private agricultural companies.

Product Agronomist of Pioneer Herson Arcilla shared how they managed their assigned rice fields which were affected by flood, rats and brownhopper.

"Because of proper planning and strategy and the willingness of the farmer-cooperator to adopt the specific technology, the rice plants did not lodge and performed well. His estimated harvest is 11-13 metric tons in one hectare," he said.

Outstanding Young Farmer Ulysses Salvino said he was impressed with the growth and performance of Syngenta’s NK5017 and SL varieties stressing that he will be using SL hybrid rice varieties in his farm in Magarao, Camarines Sur.

NRB President Recher Ondap further encouraged the participants to practice and adopt the learnings they gained during the field tour.

“Now that you have seen the technology, use it so that we can be competitive in the world market,” said Ondap.

 Also done aside from the field tour are discussions on “The Rice Program” by Rodel Tornilla; Hybrid Rice Production Technology by PhilRice Science Research Specialist Leo C. Javier; and Policy Options on the Expiration of the Waiver Relating to Special Treatment on Rice by DA-Central Office Policy Research Service staff Pia De La Rosa. (SAA/DA5-PIA5/Albay)

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