Farmers in Lubao, Pampanga, got a tremendous boost in their income driven by proper modern crop management and a continuous supply of SL-8H Super Hybrid Rice Seeds from private company SL Agritech Corp.
With the present crop stand, the expected yield from Lubao rice farmers alone will be no less than 10 metric tons per hectare for palay (unmilled rice), which is more than twice the national yield of 4 to 5 MT/hectare.
The whole province of Pampanga has 1,850 hectares of rice lands using SL-8H Super Hybrid Rice Seeds.
The use of hybrid rice seeds is part of the program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to increase the use of such seeds among farmers in collaboration with local government units. Since 2015, SL Agritech has been the major partner of the DA in increasing the rice productivity of Pampanga through hybrid rice technology.
“Our company, SL Agritech Corp. has been continuously and untiringly promoting the benefits of hybrid rice technology across the country,” SL Agritech said in a statement.
“Every cropping season, we are massively showcasing the very good yield of hybrid rice through a series of field tours and harvest festivals. This is part of our information dissemination drive to radiate to other farmers the benefits of planting hybrid rice,” the company added.
Marking the first-ever Grand Harvest Festival held in Pampanga on Wednesday, two farmers from Lubao shared the benefits of using hybrid rice technology.
Randy Martin, a farmer-cooperator, said he has been using SL-8H for almost six years.
Before, his yield was only 120-140 cavans to 180 cavans per hectare using SL-8H. Now, still using SL-8H and with proper crop management, his palay harvest reached up to 266 canvas (58kg/cavan) or 11.87 tons per hectare.
Martin claims he realized an annual income amounting to about P237,000 from his 1.3-hectare farm using the hybrid rice technology of SL Agritech. Rice farmers can undertake three croppings for rice every year.
However, Martin said the lack of an irrigation system in Palcarangan is posing challenges to farmers, and there is need for farmers in Lubao to have access to farm machines for planting and harvesting.
“The farmers here do their best, but we need support from government,” he said in Filipino.
For her part, former president and now Rep. Gloria Arroyo of Pampanga pledged to work on a bill that will provide subsidy to farmers for their seeds and fertilizers.
Arthur Peñaflor, who has been using hybrid rice technology since last year, revealed a 31-percent increase in palay harvest amounting to 656 cavans. From a four-hectare rice farm, he realizes an income of P524,720 annually.
“Undeniably, hybrid rice technology is a way to go in increasing our rice productivity. With the continuous partnership of the Department of Agriculture, local government units, our beloved farmers and SL Argritech, the goal for our country to be rice self-sufficient is really possible,” SL Agritech said.
The Grand Harvest Festival aims to showcase the outstanding performance of SL hybrid rice seeds.
In April last year, President Rodrigo Duterte graced the Grand Harvest Festival of SL Agritech in Talavera, Nueva Ecija.
The hybrid rice technology of SL Agritech has already been tapped by countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Cambodia.