Written by the Web Team
The People`s Republic of China will help increase the productivity of Filipino farmers for the next five years as the second phase of its technical cooperation project begins this month.
To be implemented until 2016, the Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology (PhilSCAT) project, aims to breed new hybrids using the Philippine’s local and China`s rice germplasm and to introduce China`s hybrid rice varieties in the country.
Hosted in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, PhilSCAT will also introduce farm machineries to the Filipino rice farmers.
In the signed Minutes of Discussion and Implementation Plan, represented by Yuanxing Fang of China`s Yuan Longping High Tech Agriculture Co., Ltd and Dante de lima of the Philippine’s Department of Agriculture, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhiRice) will help in testing the field performance of the introduced China’s hybrids.
The hybrid rice varieties to be introduced and the hybrid rice lines developed during the project`s first phase will be tested in six locations in Luzon. PhilSCAT in collaboration with PhilRice bred seven promising hybrid rice lines in the project`s first implementation in 2003-2008.
The second phase, which aims to “sustain and continue the significant achievement in the first phase,” will also include the harnessing of biogas using China-developed techniques. Dr. Jose Falla, head of the projects’ Knowledge Management Division, said the research and development on biogas will be prioritized for farmers to adopt the technology in their households.
China, a rice self-sufficient country supporting its 1.3 billion population, recently sets its third world record in rice production when Yuan Longping, the father of hybrid rice, and his team announced the 13.9 t/ha-harvest of a new “super hybrid rice” in Longhui County in Hunan Province.
China Daily reported that Longping`s research team first made their record in 2000 when their variety reached 10.5 t/ha and in 2004, when the new hybrid rice registered 12 t/ha.
In tropical countries like the Philippines, studies show that hybrid rice can increase farmers’ yield by at least 15 percent over the best inbred. A maximum yield of 12 t/ha is also possible with proper management and favorable environment.