Central Experiment Station
In March 1990, the Maligaya Rice Research and Training Center (MRRTC) in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, which was previously merged with PhilRice, officially became the Central Experiment Station. Through a US$15.7 million JICA grant approved on December 21, 1989, PhilRice improved the station and equipped it with modern laboratory and training facilities. The Central Experiment Station leads and coordinates national efforts in rice research and development.
In January 1999, PhilRice Batac was born, with big help from the National Tobacco Administration. Located in Batac, Ilocos Norte, the station serves as the center for dry land agriculture R&D focusing on the improvement of rice-based cropping systems in semi-arid areas and development of on-farm water conservation and storage techniques.
Long known as DA-Region 2’s Cagayan Valley Experiment Station (CVES) based in San Mateo town, PhilRice Isabela officially became a branch station in May 1991 with the sole aim of boosting rice production in Northeastern Luzon. The station pursues research on nutrient, water, and pest management, socioeconomics and policy studies. In 1998, with the felt need to promote hybrid rice, the way was paved for it to become the “hybrid rice center of PhilRice.” As such, its primary function is to develop, package, and promote hybrid rice and its related technologies.
After finding home in Nueva Ecija in April 1988, the Institute’s “cradle” inside the campus of UP Los Baños (UPLB) was in March 1990 converted as its principal office and a branch station – the PhilRice Los Baños. It continued work on plant breeding, crop protection, agronomy and soils, rice chemistry and food science, and technology promotion and development.
Situated in a prime science community, Los Baños has since served as the Institute’s front-liner in developing and implementing projects in coordination with a scientific network that includes its giant neighbors, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and UPLB. Designated as in-charge of the hybrid nucleus and breeder seed production initiatives of PhilRice, it was instrumental in the diversification of the germplasm base of the rice breeding program by using wild rice species. With its strong partnership with the scientific community of Los Baños and local government units, it also brought about a number of location–specific technologies and innovations, the most popular being the Minus–One Element Technique, a diagnostic tool to determine soil nutrient deficiency.
In July 2003, PhilRice Negros began to grow, with vital assistance from the Negros Occidental LGU, to cater to the needs of Visayan farmers. Based in Cansilayan, Murcia town, the youngest branch station is mandated to develop specialty and premium rices. It also serves as the distribution center for quality seeds of high-yielding and disease-resistant modern varieties chiefly suited for Western Visayas.
Located in Basilisa, RTRomualdez in Agusan del Norte, PhilRice Agusan was established beginning in August 1989 to service the rest of the Mindanao provinces too far from Midsayap.
As the area is drenched by frequent rainfall year-round, problems frequently complained about by rice farmers are related to nutrient management. Zinc deficiency, for one, is a major setback. Thus, the station was strengthened as the nutrient management center of PhilRice.
As it intensifies its nutrient management research activities, Agusan also participates in the yield trials of the National Cooperative Tests (NCT). It produces seeds of suitable varieties and makes them available to Mindanao farmers through technology promotion activities in tandem with local government units.
In December 1987, the DA-Region 12 turned over to PhilRice what was to become its first branch station in Mindanao. Located in Bual Norte, Midsayap, North Cotabato, PhilRice Midsayap evolved from the Mindanao Rice and Corn Experiment Station of the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry established in 1959. As then the sole rice center in Mindanao, it was mainly involved in seed production and research in integrated pest management to address prevalent pest difficulties in the area.
Through its collaborative projects with farmer-partners and extension workers, Midsayap developed and promoted Matatag rice lines which are resistant to the rice tungro disease, a major cause of low rice yields in the area. One notable achievement of the station was the lessened intensity and prevalence of tungro outbreaks in its area of responsibility now.
Based in Batang, Ligao City, Albay, PhilRice Bicol was developed as the center of rice R &D for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and mitigation.
Mindoro Satellite Station
The establishment of this satellite station in Sta. Cruz, Occidental Mindoro is in line with the goal of bringing quality seeds to all provinces in the country. It targets to serve seed growers from their area and other neighboring provinces. Moreover, the station provides training on the proper method of seed and rice production upon the request of stakeholders. PhilRice Mindoro also shelters and offers facilities to farmers such as warehouse, solar and flatbed dryers, motorpool, and handtractors.
Samar Satellite Station
Located in Catarman, Northern Samar in Visayas, PhilRice Samar Satellite Station was established in January 2015. In partnership with the University of Eastern Philippines, Department of Agriculture and its regional offices and agencies, and the local government units, the Samar station aims to promote rice research for development, and the increase rice productivity in the whole island. It houses a 200-ton-capacity warehouse, an 8-ton capacity solar and reversible flatbed dryers, machinery shed, handtractors, and a field where agriculture students can also conduct thesis studies on rice and agricultural engineering for farm machines and postharvest facilities.
Zamboanga Satellite Station
The development of Zamboanga Satellite Station started in November 2017 under a signed memorandum of understanding between PhilRice and the Western Mindanao State University. Under the direct stewardship of PhilRice Midsayap, the satellite caters to the needs of rice agriculture in Zamboanga del Sur and other Region 9 provinces. The Zamboanga Satellite Station is to put up an administration building, warehouse, seed processing shed with dryer, other necessities, and a 2-ha Palayamanan demo farm.