Prospects of growing hybrid rice is shown to the farmers southwest of Manila in a 35.8-ha demonstration farm at Brgy. Malad, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.

Launched during the 9th National Rice Technology Forum (NRTF), Aug. 8, the demo farm features  Mestiso 20 (M20), one of the 25 hybrid rice varieties, and three inbred varieties –NSIC Rc  216, Rc 506, and Rc 222.

Recher Ondap, president of the Rice Board, said through the NRTF’s demo farm, tillers will be able to assess the hybrid rice variety best suited in their field. Farmers will also learn the latest farming practices to increase their productivity.

M20 (NSIC Rc 204H) is a public hybrid rice bred by Philippine Rice Research Institute and (PhilRice) University of the Philippines Los Baños. M20 yields an average of 6.4 t/ha and can reach as high as 11.7 t/ha. It matures in 111 days after sowing. It is moderately resistant to yellow stem borer, green leafhopper, and brown plant hopper.

M20 is also part of the PhilRice’s Public Hybrid Rice Seed Systems Project with a tagline “Public Hybrid Rice Mestiso. Mura. Maani. Masarap”, which aims to encourage the use of public hybrid seeds including Mestizo 1 among seed growers and farmers.

Meanwhile, NRTF launching was attended by more than 200 participants including private seed companies, public institutions and agencies, and farmers. The NRTF is a collaborative effort of the Rice Board and Department of Agriculture in partnership with the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro and Local Government Units of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.

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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