A bacteria can help farmers increase their yield
Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said that farmers in the upland can raise their harvest through a certain type of bacteria that was found to increase plant growth rate and yield.
Researchers, led by PhilRice scientist Jayvee Cruz, discovered that actinomycete (Streptomyces mutabilis), a plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), showed promising results in farms.
Based on his study, actinomycete, an aerobic bacterium suitable under upland conditions, can increase root dry weight, number of tillers, and root depth of upland rice. It can also promote growth even under moisture stress.
“The country’s production of upland rice remains low, at approximately 2 tons per hectare (t/ha) only. By applying half fertilizer treatment combined with PGPB treatment, farmers can get additional yield of 0.5 t/ha,” Cruz said.
Cruz also said that a lesser amount of chemical fertilizer is needed for soil treatment, which can address environmental concerns and rising cost of fertilizers.
The 32-year-old scientist, however, emphasized that the treatment is not a 100 percent substitute for synthetic fertilizers.
At present, there is no commercially available actinomycete inoculant in the Philippines.
Another type of microbial inoculant for upland rice varieties will soon be produced resulting from this study.