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Cagayan agriculturist’s office studying Taiwan ‘hybrid rice’ variety

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Cagayan’s Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) is studying the efficiency of Taiwanese-introduced hybrid rice for future dispersal for Cagayanos.

In an episode of Pagdidinnamagan: Kapehan sa Kapitolyo on Monday, January 22, Concurrent Provincial Agriculturist Pearlita Lucia Mabasa said the OPA will study the strength of the Taiwanese rice variety this coming farming season.

The OPA head said the strength of the said rice variety was proven in an earlier trial in a demonstration farm at Tuao. The seeds were planted during the off-season and, Mabasa said, yielded 12 tons of rice.

“During the in-between, puwede palang magtanim ang Cagayan farmland ng tatlong beses because we did prove during the lean months na walang araw, malamig at may mga ulan-ulan, nakapag-produce pa,” Mabasa said.

Yet, the Taiwanese rice specialists would first have to prove in the next planting season their target of producing 400 cavans per hectare using the hybrid rice, Mabasa said.

Currently, Cagayano farmers only get a yield of 80-100 cavans per hectare, Mabasa said.

The OPA will enter into a leasing agreement with Taiwanese businessmen who will rent 89.93 hectares of farmland in Cato, Tuao for P50,000 per year. This rate was based on Cagayano farmers’ average  yearly net income which is 25,000 per cropping season, Mabasa said.

The contract, if permitted, will be renewable every year.

“So ikaw yung may ari ng lupa at ipaparent mo, hindi ka na gumagasto, hindi ka na poprobelma kung atakehin ng disease o bagyo yung pananim mo, you just have an income and your family, your tenants, and you will be paid in a daily basis of P250,” Mabasa said.

Mabasa said the contract will only be executed with farmer’s associations Rio-Chico Irrigators Association and Banuar Irrigators Association, as pilot benefactors.

“Tayo, we are after the protection of our farmers of course they are under my leadership so dapat hindi natin ipapasubo that’s why we are having the techno demo to prove the strength of the seed,” Mabasa said.

“They will be employed there so walang malulugi na establishment but we’re making it sure that’s why we are studying it hard with our lawyer,” the provincial agriculturist added.

Cagayan Provincial Agriculturist Pearlita Mabasa says in a Kapehan sa Kapitolyo episode that they are studying the strenght of Taiwanese hybrid rice this farming season, The said rice variety yielded 12 tons of rice during off season in an earlier trial in Tuao, Cagayan. Photo screengrabbed from CPIO Live.

Further, 12-20 Taiwanese specialists will teach local farmers new techniques, with accompanying equipment and latest rice production technology.

As pilot province for the said hybrid rice, the OPA will first introduce the seeds to Cagayano farmers if the program becomes successful.

“We will be inviting other farmers from other provinces later on but we will supply the farmers here in Cagayan muna… We will be satisfying [first] the cagayano farmers of course… Later, mag-eexpand tayo,” Mabasa said.

Mabasa also claimed that the area, with a mountain on one side and an irrigation canal on the other as boundaries, is suitable in yielding good quality and strong seeds.

“The wind velocity [ay] nagcocontribute kasi yun na wawagwagin nila yung mag-asawa to pollinate with each other… Kung mataba yung kapitbahay mo na lupa, mataba yung production. Kung hindi ka madamot na magsasaka [at] nagbibigay ka ng magandang seeds sa kapitbahay mo, of course kung magpollinate siya, kukunina niya yung seeds ng kapitbahay mo…You can control the wind velocity para the pollination is confined thereat,” Mabasa explained.

Meanwhile, the hybrid rice, Mabasa said, are being bought by Taiwan at around P1,000.

Mabasa noted that Taiwan had smaller lands for rice production and that they have only few young farmers.

Taiwan has been leading in rice variety research, playing a significant role in developing an earlier rice variety, the IR8 or “miracle rice,” the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said.

The IR8, IRRI said, launched the Green Revolution in Asia which, experts believed, saved the region from famine in the 1960s and 1970s. Northernforum.net

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