The Federation of Crop Science Societies of the Philippines, Inc (FCSSP) recognized researchers of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) during the societies’ 23rd Scientific Conference held in Clark Zone, Pampanga, May 11-16.  FCSSP-PhilRice

Dr. Norvie L. Manigbas, PhilRice’s Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division head, was awarded the 2015 CSSP Achievement Award in Research for his work in rice breeding focusing on unfavorable rice-growing environments and direct wet-seeded rice.

A DOST-conferred scientist, Manigbas is one of the breeders of NSIC Rc298 – the first released variety for direct wet-seeded rice.

He has authored and co-authored scientific papers and published nine papers in the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)- indexed science journals and non-ISI scientific journals.

Manigbas also leads and pioneers the project on breeding heat tolerant rice in the Philippines in collaboration with national rice research institutes in South Korea, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“The development of rice varieties for high temperature tolerance is important in addressing climate change in rice growing areas where 90-95% of the population depends on rice,” said Manigbas.

The crop physiologist has won numerous awards in scientific conferences and competitions in his more than 30 years of R&D work.

Manigbas took his bachelor’s and master’s degree in agriculture at UP Los Baños. He also finished his PhD in Crop Physiology and Plant Breeding in the same university.

Meanwhile, the study titled Endophytic bacteria isolated from nipa palm (nypa fruticans) as growth-promoters for upland rice won the best paper under the downstream category.

PhilRice researcher Jayvee A. Cruz explained that 51 isolates from nipa palm were screened for multiple plant growth-promoting traits.

“Based on our findings, the growth-promoting traits of 5 selected isolates and their ability to colonize the roots demonstrate their potential as plant growth-promoting inoculants for upland rice,” said Cruz.

“However, further assessment under field condition to optimize the potential of bacteria is still needed,” added Cruz.

A study on reduce tillage technology (RTT) was declared as best paper for technology extension, dissemination, and education category.

Julian C. Macadamia, one of the authors of the paper titled When parking the plow has more benefits, said that RTT aims to increase the productivity and income of participating farmers by using cost-saving technologies in irrigated rice production.

“We found out that RTT is a cheaper and easier method for land preparation because our cost and return analysis showed that there was an average income of P48, 290/ha for reduce tillage compared to conventional tillage with an average income of P42, 589/ha,” said Macadamia.

Val C. Garcia and co-authors won the best poster award for their project titled Training program for new graduates of agri and other related sciences to help boost rice industry.

The program intends to increase awareness of promising young professionals on the current issues and prospects related to the rice industry: PalayCheck System and Palayamanan Plus and other technology interventions being promoted by PhilRice.

“It builds a roster of potential researchers and development workers who can be recommended for hiring in agricultural organizations or private companies,” said Garcia.

FCSSP is composed of various societies including Crop Science Society of the Philippines, Philippine Fruits Association, Philippine Seed Industry Association, and Philippine Association of Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology.

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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