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Philippine Government to Distribute Hybrid Rice

10 January 2012

PHILIPPINES - The government is looking to jumpstart its national rice-hybridisation programme by distributing hybrid-rice seeds during wet season cropping for palay which starts in May, a senior official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

Dante Delima, head of the national rice programme under the DA, said the government has already spent P8 million to produce F1 materials from which commercial hybrid rice seeds could be produced and sold to farmers under a state-funded credit and loan programme, reports the Business Mirror.

“The parent materials have already been planted sometime in November or December. The hybrid rice seeds are targeted for distribution and planting in strategic irrigated areas including Nueva Ecija, Iloilo, and Mindoro,” said Mr Delima.

Initially, the government was looking at planting hybrid rice seeds in 50,000 hectares of farmlands this year.

But Mr Delima said the government would have to “adjust” the distribution and planting of hybrid rice seeds as the wet season is typically considered typhoon season when local farmlands are ravaged by destructive typhoons.

“We might have to reduce the hectarage planted to hybrid rice [during the wet season]. Our target really is to have hybrid rice seeds planted in 75,000 hectares of irrigated farmlands by the dry season of 2013,” said Mr Delima.

Under the national rice hybridisation programme, the government plans to sell hybrid rice seed varieties Mestizo 19 and Mestizo 20 developed by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). The Nueva Ecija-based institute will reproduce the hybrid-rice variants in commercial quantities to sell to farmers.

Mr Delima said the government plans to sell an 18-kilogram bag of hybrid rice seeds at around P3,500 per bag, lower than the P4,500 average price of hybrid rice seeds being sold by the private sector.

At a yield of 7 to 8 metric tons (MT), the programme is targeting to add as much as 375,000 MT to total national palay output this year.

TheCropSite News Desk

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