DA to roll out ‘Green Super Rice’
MANILA, Philippines – To help farmers increase their harvest, the Department of Agriculture (DA) will roll out a production program for high-yielding rice varieties.
Under the High Yielding Technology Adoption (HYTA) program, th DA will make available to farmers high-yielding varieties such as hybrid rice, certified inbred seeds, and the newly-approved Green Super Rice.
The Green Super Rice is a variety jointly developed by Laguna-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). It was tested for adaptability in various DA growing stations nationwide in 2014.
Green Super Rice combines the superior traits of 250 rice varieties adapted to difficult growing conditions such as drought and low inputs, including no pesticide and less fertilizer, IRRI said. It has a rapid establishment rate, enabling it to out-compete weeds, thus reducing the need for herbicides.
The HYTA program will be managed by the National Rice Program and would be implemented by DA regional offices in areas with good irrigation and farmers’ organizations that are prepared to adopt high-yielding rice technologies.
To sustain the progress of the program and guarantee returns and yield increase, these production inputs would be provided under a conditional scheme.
The DA regional field offices will be in charge of distributing hybrid seeds or certified seeds to farmers' groups along with fertilizers and soil ameliorants.
Each DA regional office may have its own reward system to guarantee repayment of inputs and increase in yield from the high-yielding seeds.
Farmer groups that achieve good results may be rewarded with hand tractors with trailers, 4-wheel drive tractors, threshers, water pumps, warehouses, combine harvesters, and dryers.
Agriculture Undersecretary Antonio Fleta said the program is expected to increase domestic rice production by 1 million metric ton (MT) this year and by 500,000 MT in 2016.
For 2015, the Philippines is expected to produce more than 20 million MT of rice after producing 18.97 million MT in 2014. – Rappler.com