Samar rice farmers urged to switch to hybrid rice seeds
In a bid to attain rice self sufficiency in the next two years, the Department of Agriculture (DA) recently conducted its 5th National Rice Technology Forum in Basey, Samar to highlight the latest technologies available in rice farming.
The three-day event is comprised of a series of discussions from the experts of the hybrid rice technology, representatives of hybrid rice seed growers, the rice board, officials from DA, and around 2500 rice farmers.
Themed “Increase Production through Hybrid Rice Technology”, the event featured a 12-hectare demo farm to showcase the different hybrid rice seeds from the nine different rice seed producers.
The farm aims to show the actual benefits that the rice farmers can enjoy when they shift from inbred to hybrid rice.
Also featured during the event is a rice derby that allowed farmers to see and experience technologies for themselves.
During the derby, farmers were able to personally assess the difference in the yield from seeds of different companies, as well as interact with technicians and seed company representatives.
“We must have an open mind if we would like to adapt hybrid rice seeds,” DA Region 8 Executive Director U-Nichols Manalo said.
Manalo further stressed the importance of using hybrid rice seeds in realizing the target of rice self-sufficiency in the next two years.
“We must take advantage of the technologies that we have right now in order to reap the benefits of it and pass it on to our future farmers,” he added.
The province of Samar recorded 15.6 percent of the region’s total output of 954,844 metric tons with an average yield of 2.5 metric tons per hectare, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
With the use of hybrid seeds in the province of Samar, DA is optimistic that production volume shall double or even triple contributing to the government’s rice sufficiency target.