PhilRice, IRRI identify suitable rice varieties for every region
The list of rice varieties adaptable to each region has been released after being proven competitive both in dry and wet seasons through the project dubbed as Accelerating the development and adoption of next-generation (Next-Gen) rice varieties for major ecosystem in the Philippines.
The Next-Gen project is a collaborative effort between Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), University of the Philippines Los Baños, and the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Regional Field Offices.
It was done under the Food Self Sufficiency Program of the DA National Rice Program and is being funded by the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research.
“These [rice varieties] were tested by the farmers themselves through participatory variety trials (PVS). Yield stability, pest and disease resistance, and grain quality were the main criteria used to prove the competitiveness of the varieties,” said PhilRice senior plant breeder Thelma Padolina.
The varieties were then approved for commercialization by the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC).
Flordeliza Bordey, PhilRice Deputy Director for Research, along with other experts made sure that these varieties are highly suitable by validating them using the results of the National Cooperative Test (NCT) for rice, farmers’ preferences as reported by regional coordinators, value chain analysis project, and the rice seed system workshop output.
In Regions 7 and 8, each province is provided with separate recommendations owing to their unique ecosystems.
Padolina noted that seeds of these varieties are also available in the region or through the local seed growers in the areas.
“To ensure that the recommended varieties are accessible in the regions, the project pushed for the participation of local seed growers in the second phase of the PVS where they have tested and produced the starter seeds,” said Padolina.