THE Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), has launched Philippine Traditional Rice Varieties, the country’s first seed catalog of indigenous rice varieties, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said on its website.
Dr. Vivencio Mamaril, officer-in-charge of BPI and a project leader at the National Seed Council said the catalog is the first publication of the Bureau for traditional rice varieties.
Traditional farmers continue to grow these indigenous rice varieties because of their resistance to pests and diseases, low fertilizer requirements, and good eating quality said Mamaril.
He added that plant breeders also use traditional rice varieties as sources of germplasms for developing new varieties because of their exceptional ability to withstand environmental and biological stresses as well as their excellent aroma and grains.
Philippine Traditional Rice Varieties is a collaborative effort of BPI, which implements the Department of Agriculture’s programs on the plant industry sector, Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Agri-Pinoy Rice Programs, and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
The catalog contains photos, physical descriptions of each variety at various growth stages, quantitative traits of its grains, place of origin, and other information collected by the participating research institutes. The catalog was launched during the 87th anniversary celebration of BPI on January 18 and 19.
“The Philippine Traditional Rice Varieties Seed Catalog is a manifesto to the Philippines as a country blessed with the bounties of nature,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a statement. “The catalog is an important part of the country’s effort to modernize the rice sector for the Filipino people.”
INTERNATIONAL RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE