Amid the debate on whether the Philippines can attain rice self-sufficiency this year, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said that Filipino rice farmers will be able to attain higher production should they adopt the four new varieties that are capable of yields from 7 to 10 metric tons (MT) each hectare.
“These new rice varieties, which are capable of yields from 7 MT to 10 MT each hectare, will surely boost the country’s drive for rice self-sufficiency given that the average yield today is from 3 MT to 4 MT per hectare,” PhilRice Executive Director Eufemio Rasco Jr. said.
A result of intensive research and development, and extensive field-testing by PhilRice, three of the four varieties could be direct seeded, or the seeds planted on the field, which results to savings in labor.
Most modern rice varieties are traditionally transplanted, or the seedlings are grown in another area for eventual transplanting in the field when the seedlings are matured.
The four new rice varieties are Tubigan 23, Tubigan 24, Tubigan 25, and Japonica3, which all have been registered with the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC).
Tubigan 23 is a variety that is direct-seeded, and is submergence tolerant. Its grains are long and slender, which is becoming the primary preference of consumers. The potential yield of Tubigan 23 is 8 MT each hectare, and has a maturity period from direct seeding of 104 days.
Tubigan 24 could also be direct seeded or transplanted, and matures from 112 to 117 days. Its potential yield is 10.4 MT each hectare and its milling recovery is a high 72.2 percent. The average milling recovery of paddy rice is 60 percent to 65 percent. Tubigan 24 also has long and intermediate grain size.
Meanwhile, Tubigan 25 can also be transplanted or direct seeded, and has a potential yield of 10.4 MT each hectare. It has extra long and slender grains. The maturity of Tubigan 25 is 115 days when transplanted, and 106 days when direct seeded.
Jasponica 3 is a variety that is exclusively for transplanting with yield potential of 7.2 MT each hectare. It matures on an average of 113 days from transplanting, and offers grains that are tender and smooth in texture.
Farmers can buy the new seed varieties starting in December from PhilRice stations located in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija; Batac City, Ilocos Norte; San Mateo, Isabela; Ligao City, Albay; Murcia, Negros Occidental; RTRomualdez, Agusan del Norte; Midsayap, North Cotabato; and Maramag, Bukidnon. Availability could be checked through the Farmers’ Text Center: 0920-911-1398.
Although there are private companies producing and marketing seeds to farmers nationwide, the seed varieties developed by PhilRice remain the most preferred, according to the National Seed Quality Control Services (NSQCS).
PhilRice-produced seeds undergo test analysis conducted by NSQCS to ensure that the product passed the standards required for foundation, registered, and certified seeds.
“Quality seeds are an important factor in helping farmers achieve higher yields and earn better. And without quality seeds, it would be hard for the country to achieve rice self-sufficiency. We at PhilRice have very capable researchers who will continue and sustain R&D [research and development]activities so farmers will have higher-yielding seeds today and in the future,” Rasco added.