The local government of Buenavista, Quezon will showcase to their rice growers the potential of hybrid rice seed production in their locality in a field day to be conducted today, Oct. 15.

Alvin Ray U. Rivera, town’s vice mayor, announced that it is possible that farmers could grow their own seeds of Mestiso 20 or M20, a variety developed by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) and International Rice Research Institute.

“We are proud and happy that we have successfully grown the hybrid rice seeds in our own fields,” the vice mayor said. 

The 32-year-old vice-mayor said M20 was first planted in a 25-ha demonstration farm in the 2018 dry season when El Niño occurred in their town. Farmers were amazed that the rice variety stood tall and produced many tillers and grains amidst drought.

“With the good performance of M20, from 25-ha demo farm in 2018, we have allotted 50ha in 2019 then 100ha in 2020. With M20, farmers harvested as high as 9.6t/ha,” Rivera said. M20 yields an average of 6.4t/ha and can reach as high as 11.7t/ha. M20 is moderately resistant to green leafhopper and brown planthopper.

Rivera said the result of the demos gained the interest of more farmers who are willing to buy its seeds. However, seed sources were limited. 

As M20 seeds come from Mindanao, Dr. Fidel M. Ramos, who led the Public Hybrid Rice Seed Systems Project of DA-PhilRice, partnered with the Buenavista local government unit to establish a two-line hybrid rice seed production trial in 2020. 

“The favorable result of the two-line hybrid rice seed production trial in Buenavista is an achievement. Thank you, DA-PhilRice, for sharing your technical expertise on hybrid rice seed production and on F1 cultivation of M20.  We are looking forward to establishing a 150-ha hybrid rice seed production and we hope that DA will support us in this plan,” Rivera said.

M2O is one of the public hybrids promoted by DA-PhilRice 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