Mestiso 20 (M20), a public hybrid rice variety previously not favored in Buenavista, Quezon, is yielding good harvest both in seed production and F1 cultivation.

As M20 seeds come from Mindanao, the municipality is engaged in hybrid rice seed production since last quarter of 2020 to ensure the variety’s accessibility.

“The favorable result of the two-line hybrid rice seed production trial in Buenavista is such an achievement. We have no idea that it is possible to produce hybrid rice seeds in our place not until a group from PhilRice set up a trial here in 2020. Thank you, PhilRice, for sharing your technical expertise on hybrid rice seed production,” Alvin Ray U. Rivera, vice-mayor of Buenavista, Quezon, said.

For the F1 cultivation, the “no-choice variety” proved to be the farmers’ best choice after three cropping seasons.

The 32-year-old vice-mayor said M20 was first planted in their 25-ha demonstration farm in the 2018 dry season when El Niño occurred in their town.

He recalled that with the shoe-sized cracks on their farms, the farmers expected no harvests at all. However, Buenavista farmers were amazed as the rice variety stood tall and produced many tillers and grains amidst drought.

“Most of the farmers here used to harvest 2.5-3t/ha. But with hybrid, they’re harvesting as high as 8.3t/ha,” Rivera said.

Now, Buenavista farmers always request for M20 as it showed good yield, resistance to pests and diseases, and drought tolerance. The variety also has good grain quality.

“From 25ha demo farm in 2018 and 50ha in 2019, we had allotted 100ha in 2020. We shared the management practices with them to improve yield. They have now surpassed the 8t-yield and have harvested as high as 9.6t/ha,” Rivera said.

Rivera added that farmers prefer M20 as it is cheaper than other hybrid rice varieties and that they are willing to buy its seeds when available in their place.

M2O is one of the public hybrids promoted by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute as part of its Public Hybrid Rice Seed Systems Project. The project aims to develop a strong and sustainable public hybrid rice seeds system so that high-quality public hybrid parental and F1 seeds are accessible, affordable, and available at all times to the stakeholders.

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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