The higher cost of producing hybrid rice is offset by the higher yields and income the farmers get, according to Dr. Frisco Malabanan, director of the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) rice program of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
“The use of hybrid seeds has tremendously increased our palay production by 1.47 metric tons (MT) per hectare, with per hectare yields hitting 6.01 MT against the 4.5 MT average produced by farmers using the inbred rice variety,” he said.
The DA official said the hybrid rice varieties have recorded a yield advantage of 33 percent more than those on inbred certified seeds. The yield advantage, he said, contributed to a sustained increase in the national palay production of the country.
He said in many provinces in the country, especially in Nueva Ecija, more and more farmers are now planting high-yielding hybrid rice seed variety and using the latest farming technology.
Henry Lim, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of SL Agritech Corp., the country’s top producer of hybrid rice seeds, said “hamak laki na ng inaani ngayon ng mga farmers sa Nueva Ecija na nagtatanim ng hybrid seed variety than before when they were planting the traditional or inbred rice variety and were not working as a group.”
He said the Bagong Buhay Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BBMPC) in Barangay Mabini in Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija, a cluster of 200 hectares, is one example where working together as a group or common sharing of resources, will have tremendous effect to increase production.
BBMPC has been named by the Department of Agriculture as a “model hybrid rice cluster” as its farmer-members have been posting an average harvest of 180 cavans or 10.09 metric tons (MY) per hectare using the SL-8H hybrid rice variety.
Lim at the same time commended the members of the BBMPC who, he said, “are receptive in adopting modern farm technologies and practices.”
He said that while “we are all aware of the important role played by technology in our massive food production efforts, there is the apparent need for all of us to keep abreast with the various technological approaches and to continuously be in search of new and better systems towards increase productivity.”