But success was not easy for this farmer for 35 years. Mang German started farming his half hectare farm after graduating from Agricultural Engineering. Due to diligence and perseverance, he was able to increase his farm into two hectares.
“There are times when unfortunate circumstances happen like calamities and we resort to borrowing money. When typhoon Ondoy hit our farm, the price of rice went down from P20.60 to P10. 70. We borrowed P10, 000 from other farmers with 50% or half cavan (25 kg) for every P1,000. It was really a hard time for us,” Mang German recalled.
Because of poverty and the responsibility to provide the needs of his family, Mang German had to find a way to get additional source of income.
Luckily, the variety Rc 160 was recommended to him by a trusted friend. He first tried it in 2014 and since then, he has always been satisfied with the result.
“Aside from performing well in the field, it has good eating quality and is mostly used by exclusive restaurants and establishments in the Philippines,” Mang German said.
Based on his experience, NSIC Rc 160, which he cultivates twice a year, yields better during wet seasons than in dry seasons. With this variety, he can harvest up to 125 cav/ha compared to the usual 60 cav/ha from the usual varieties. From this harvest, he was able to establish a stock room in his farm that can contain five tons of unmilled rice.
Mang German shared that seminars enabled him to learn ways on effectively managing his farm. He started attending seminars in 2013, particularly when the PhilRice conducted seminars for cooperatives under the Rice Business Innovations Systems (RiceBIS) community program.
One of the effective farm management ways that he learned is the proper application of fertilizers, especially during the wet season. In a 40 kg of Rc 160, he uses 10 kg of urea (46-00). For the first application, he uses 2 bags of (46-00) and 3 bags (16-20) per hectare while for the second, he uses 2 bags of urea and 2 bags of (14-14-14) per hectare. Finally, when its 45 days before harvest, he applies 1 bag of (17-0-17) and 1 bag of urea.
After using Rc 160 for several cropping seasons, Mang German also became convinced of its capacity to resist pests.
“I only use certified variety like Rc 160 because it’s resistant to pest like tungro,” he said.
He is currently managing 5.5 ha through mortgage using his income from rice farming. With his experiences and lessons he learned in rice farming, he can now testify that using the right variety, doing proper farm management practices, and actively seeking for ways to improve one’s farming skills can ensure a bountiful harvest.
“To us, farmers, let’s keep the courage that helps us take charge in life and continue seeking for more knowledge,” he said.