Photo by: Rjep Nieb Parocha

Photo by: Rjep Nieb Parocha

Public hybrid rice will soon be easily available for Palawan farmers following a recent intensive training attended by the province’s agricultural workers.

Marlon Montero, rice program project officer in Palawan, said that the province’s hybrid rice seeds were sourced out in other regions including Davao.

“There is a risk in procuring the seeds away from Palawan knowing that this can negatively affect the germination rate. With our current efforts, we may no longer need to buy seeds from other regions in the coming years,” Montero said

The province, which plans to expand up to 1000 ha of public hybrid rice production in the next planting seasons, trained about 40 agricultural extension workers and project implementers on hybrid seed production focusing on field and crop establishment and seed technology.

Richard Romanillos, training expert from Philippine Rice Research Institute, said that the training aimed to ensure the high purity of seeds to be produced and that best management practices are adopted to achieve the highest potential yield of hybrid.

“It is a must for the participants to understand the science of producing public hybrid varieties such as Mestizo 1 and Mestiso 20 so farmers can be guided well in cultivating them,” Romanillos said.

Mestizo 1 (PSB Rc72H ) has an average yield of 5.4 t/ha, which can reach up to 9.9 t/ha. This variety is highly recommended nationwide for its good eating quality and aroma.

Meanwhile, Mestiso 20 (NSIC Rc 204H) can thrive to most climatic types in the country, which can yield from 6.4 t/ha to 11.7t/ha. In 2013, a technology demonstration farm in Puerto Princesa achieved an average of 10.3 t/ha.

The series of training is in support to the provincial government’s rice program, which provides hybrid seeds and farm inputs to about 400 farmer beneficiaries.

Refresher courses on seed quality assessment, seed certification, laboratory and field requirements and procedures were discussed to seed inspectors. Seed growers will also be taught of the key principles and operations of hybrid rice seed production through season-long training to strengthen the province’s seed system.

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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