COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Rice production in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) can more than double to 7.7 metric tons per hectare (mt/ha) with the successful trial of Green Super Rice by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) in the region.
The GSR is part of DAF-ARMM’s P3-million technology-driven programs designed to help increase the productivity of rice farmers in the region with the use of modern technology in farming.
ARMM Agriculture Secretary Macmod Mending Jr. said they are “pushing for the commercialization of this variety for increased productivity and better income for our farmers” following a successful harvest at a 2-hectare demonstration farm in Maguindanao.
The GSR was developed by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the International Rice Research Institute to be climate resilient and resistant to rice diseases such as sheath blight, bacterial leaf streak viruses and false smut, according to Mending.
The GSR variety can lead to more stable yield with lesser fertilizer and pesticide inputs, he added.
ARMM currently ranks 18th in terms of rice production in the country with a 3.1 mt/ha yield. Mending said they expect to increase this to 7.7 mt/ha with the introduction of GSR.
The DAF-ARMM has distributed GSR seeds to 500 farmers during the rice farmers’ field day and harvest festival held in Sultan Mastura town, Maguindanao last month.
The technology-driven programs of DAF-ARMM include the Rice Crop Manager (RCM), Philippine Rice Information System (PRISM), and the Next Generation (NextGen) farmers.
The RCM is an Internet-based application that provides recommendations on nutrients, pest, weeds, and water management based on the variety of input and site-specific conditions.
PRISM is a system provides data and maps out rice growing areas affected by natural calamities and pest outbreaks. Meanwhile, NextGen involves the introduction and adoption of high-yielding rice varieties and hybrids, such as the GSR, with tolerance to biotic and abiotic strain in rice production.
DAF-ARMM also provided a P1.6 million worth combined harvester to the farmers in the town of Sultan Mastura. The machine can simultaneously reap, harvest and thresh rice.
“ARMM aims to address the challenges on farming by taking advantage of new technologies that increases farm productivity, and making them available even to the poor farmers in the region,” Mending said.