To help Bicolano farmers become more climate resilient, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) promotes the use of quality seeds in the recent 2018 Lakbay Palay Dry Season held at PhilRice Bicol, Ligao City, Albay.
Dr. Jonathan Niones, head of PhilRice Genetics Resources Division, encouraged seeds growers to increase their production of quality seeds so that access to these seeds is improved.
With the region’s vulnerability to typhoons, flood, and drought, Niones emphasized that quality seeds can increase rice yield by 5-10% owing to its high percentage of germination rate and high level of purity.
Niones told 270 Bicolano farmers, who ranked first for climate-smart resiliency, that quality seeds are better to plant because they have at least 85% germination rate.
“Low-quality seeds lead to unsynchronized germination and growth of crop, which will later become a problem in crop management,” Niones said.
An increase of 40% in the use of certified seeds was noted in 2016. The Department of Agriculture sustains this improvement in farm practices through the Rice Seed System program of PhilRice.
For Bicol region, PhilRice recommends NSIC Rc 302 and NSIC Rc 308, which can yield from 5.7 to 10.9 t/ha. Newly-released varieties, NSIC Rc 352 and NSIC Rc 354, are also suitable in the region.