Written by the Web Team
Nueva Ecija rice farmers are up to the challenge of beating the record set by Isabela farmers in the dry season competition of Palayabangan, a national search for the best practices that can produce a harvest of 10t/ha at P5 a kilo or 10-5 challenge. Producing rice is priced at P11 a kilo while the average national yield is about 4 t/ha.
In 2014 dry season, Syngenta Philippines was declared regional winner in Isabela with its 10.54 t/ha-harvest produced at P4.94 a kilo. Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the competition`s host, did not declare a winner in Nueva Ecija participants as they did not meet the 10-5 standard.
This season, most of the 15 participants competing in Nueva Ecija are first timers, including the Gem Agrologic Company.
Felipe Ramos, Luzon sales manager of Gem Agrologic Company, said during the July 14 contract of competition signing, that they joined Palayabangan to showcase their technology called GEMSAKA. The technology specifically controls bacterial leaf blight, a disease that reduces yield as much as 70 percent.
The company will also compete in the Bicol region. They were supposed to join in the Isabela competition; however, Palayabangan was temporarily suspended owing to lack of irrigation. It will resume in 2015 dry season.
Syngenta, meanwhile, told PhilRice organizers that it will try to surpass its record gained in Isabela.
“We want to show the ability of our variety, insecticide, and fungicide. Wet season is tougher than dry; posing more challenges in timing. The effect of rain during pollination and the upcoming typhoons will test our technology,” Joel Magbitang, company development agronomist said.
The 2014 wet season contenders include Ronnie Alonzo, Gem Agrologic Company, Organic Resource Biotic-Multi Purpose Cooperative, Tilah Seed Center, Pioneer Hi-Bred Philippines, SL-Agritech, Syngenta Philippines, PhilOr/Cabseeds, Zetryl Chem, Agrotair, and the local government unit of Macabebe, Pampanga.