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Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija –  To help intensify the initiatives of the Department of Agriculture in promoting hybrid rice to help the farmers to be more competitive, PhilRice highlighted the technology through a theater performance during the Institute’s wet season field day, September 14-15.

“We conducted focused group discussions with the farmers and used their experiences in conceptualizing the story on hybrid rice. The farmers also joined in the acting workshop and they were very eager in promoting the technology, which they have tried,” Dr. Diadem Gonzales-Esmero, Rice Science Museum curator, said.

With the theme Dagdag ani at kita, mag-hybrid rice na, the field day dubbed as Lakbay Palay integrated performing arts in teaching hybrid rice to about 3,000 participating farmers across the country.

Through the 23-minute musical play, farmers learned that hybrid rice yields higher than inbred by a minimum of 15% and has an average potential yield of 8.36t/ha. Hybrid rice is a product of two rice plants with superior qualities. The crop management practices of hybrid rice were also featured.

Unlike inbred rice, hybrid rice only needs a seeding rate of 15-20kg and 1-2 seedlings per hill in transplanting.

Produced by the Rice Science Museum and Technology Services Management Division and directed by performance arts consultant Lynette Grace Bibal, the theater performance was based on rice farmers’ aspirations, challenges, fears, and farming practices. The cast is composed of farmers from Brgy. Maligaya in Science City of Muñoz,  Tanghalan Gagalaw of the Central Luzon State University, and PhilRice researchers.

“Farmers need continuous learning to improve their lives. At my age, I’m happy that I was able to inspire my fellow farmers and share with them my experiences in growing hybrid rice. I believe that the country will be rice-secure, if the farmers will plant hybrid rice and mechanize rice farming,” 74-year-old Braulio Valdez Sr, a farmer-actor, said.

The cast will also open the National Rice Awareness Month celebration on Nov. 6.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute