High-yielding, with good-eating quality, and slightly aromatic – these traits of NSIC Rc 238 (Tubigan 21) make farmers cling to this inbred variety. No wonder it is included in the Top 5 most preferred varieties in the Philippines.
Mequiedes P. Indic, 35, from Tanauan, Leyte can attest to this variety’s favorable qualities. Like most farmer-consumers, Mang Mequiedes believes that aside from being high-yielding, a variety must have good-eating quality. After hearing the good news from one of his neighbors about Rc 238, he decided to ask for some seeds from his cousin and try this variety on his half a hectare land.
According to Mang Mequiedes, his first harvest with Rc 238 was excellent. He produced 45 cavans, which weighed an average of 42 k per cavan. It was one of his highest harvests considering that his farm has limited water supply because it is classified as rainfed.
In terms of pest resistance, he also observed that Rc 238 can survive better than other varieties. This variety is moderately resistant to green leafhopper and white stem borer; resistant to yellow stem borer; and has intermediate reaction to blast, bacterial leaf blight, and brown planthopper. Signs of diseases on this variety are also minimal.
“When cooked, Rc 238 is very soft and tastes good. You can eat it even without viand. Overnight, the cooked rice remains soft; unlike other varieties that require additional water upon reheating. My kids love it,” he stresses.
His siblings even tagged it as “special rice” for it has the smell of pandan and has a smooth eating texture. They normally ask for Mang Mequiedes’ milled rice in exchange for some other food.
Since 2016, Mang Mequiedes has already planted this variety four times. “I will not let go of Rc 238. All the traits of my ideal rice are found in this variety,” he says.
More of Rc 238
Julieta Parinas, a Science Research Specialist from the Philippine Rice Research Institute’s Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division said NSIC Rc 238 is a variety developed by the International Rice Research Institute from lines IR72870-120-1-2-2 and IR72870-19-2-2-3. Both lines have slightly aromatic traits.
Based on the National Cooperative Testing data, the average yield of this variety is 6.4t/ha and maximum yield of 10.6t/ha. It has an average yield advantage of 7.3% over PSB Rc b82, and 4.9% over NSIC Rc 138. This long-grained variety is harvested within 110 days, has 15 productive tillers, and is 104cm tall.
According to Parinas, it has medium amylose content; making it softer and more sticky than other varieties when cooked. She said that Rc 238 met the preference of most Filipino consumers.
While NSIC Rc 238 has all it takes to be called farmers’ and consumers’ favorite, the availability of its seeds sometimes becomes an issue. “I heard that in other regions, the seeds of Rc 238 are very limited and expensive. I hope our government will be able to make certified seeds available and affordable for small farm holders like me,” Mang Mequiedes adds.