Carmelita Guttierez, 64, manages a half-hectare rice field. By planting NSIC Rc 222, she is one of many who has found joy and achieved success in farming, but like everyone else, her story is a fusion of good and bad days in the field.
“We face many challenges every season like occurrences of pests and diseases, which result in low yield. Our farm is not that wide so there were times when we fell short in income,” Guttierez narrates.
She recalls an experience in 2014 during the height of typhoon Jose when their field was whipped by heavy rains and strong winds. From an average of 60 cavans (1 cavan is approximately 50 kg), they only harvested 40 cavans.
Guttierez found an answer to their struggle when she was introduced to NSIC Rc 222 or Tubigan 18. She and her fellow local farmers also call it Super Triple 2.
“My brother recommended this variety to me. He told me that Rc 222 yields higher compared with the usual varieties we plant so I was convinced,” she explains.
After trying it for one cropping season in 2015, Rc 222 exceeded her expectations. From 60 cavans, they reaped 80 cavans..
“My husband and I were very happy with the harvest. Since then, we’ve been planting Rc 222 up until now,” she testifies.
Super Triple Two to the rescue
Rc 222 is a variety bred by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) released in 2010, which yields an average of 6.1 tons and maximum of 10 tons per hectare.
Guttierez’s experience is a proof of Rc 222’s high yielding capacity as she was able to harvest 100 cavans twice and 120 cavans in her half a hectare farm.
This variety also has intermediate resistance to pest and diseases. According to Magiting Garcia, a farmer who tried Rc 222 and a science research analyst at Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division of PhilRice, this variety is also adapted to multi-stress; performing well in different rice environments such as rain-fed, submerged, and saline (concentration of salt dissolved in water) areas.
Guttierez also observed that Rc 222’s rice grain is heavier than other the varieties’ so they get the most out of every grain when they sell their yield.
“We, farmers, are after the yield. Higher yield equates to higher income. Rc 222 gives us that. I never experienced bankruptcy in planting this variety. I hope that my fellow farmers will try it too,” says Guttierez.
Guttierez sees every grain of Rc 222 as gold as it increased their harvest and income.
During their last harvest, they produced 80 cavans and they gained P50,000 net income.
Prior to their decision of planting Rc 222, there was barely anything left for them from their income because of their expenses for labor, implements, fertilizers, pesticides and debts. Now with Rc 222, the Guttierez family can cover all their expenses and still have extra money to save.
“We were able to send our children to school and renovate our house. We do not have to worry anymore on where we will get money for our daily needs,” Guttierez shares.
He adds that, “choosing the right variety, and doing proper farm management coupled with hard work and perseverance can make every farmer reach what I have achieved and even surpass it.”