Hybrid rice model farm increases yield of Butuan farmers
BUTUAN CITY, April 3 — Rice farmers in Barangay Lemon, this city begin to reap the benefits of planting hybrid rice.
Last year, 40 rice farmers in the city accepted the challenge to be farmer-cooperators of the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Caraga’s Hybrid Rice Model Farm Project.
The 76-hectare model farm is a collaborative project with the city government of Butuan and nine private seed companies. It stages the nine hybrid rice seeds such as M20-public hybrid, M51-Pioneer 79, M50-TH82, M78-Longping 937, M81-SL-19H, M46-Bigante Plus, Boiseeds 453, Syngenta NK5017, Ramgo-Kimbee 58.
The use of hybrid rice is an approach to improve the yield to more than 6-8 metric tons per hectare given that appropriate farming technologies and good agricultural practices are applied.
“The department has been exploring all strategies to see to it that we sustain food security especially now in the challenging time in our history. The model farm will encourage more farmers to try and plant hybrid rice seeds in the region,” DA-Caraga, OIC-Regional Technical Director for Operations Rebecca R. Atega said.
The farmer cooperators were provided with free hybrid rice seeds and fertilizers. Aside from planting the nine varieties of hybrid rice, different planting methods were demonstrated and rice mechanization was integrated.
“The department is establishing technology demonstration (techno-demo) farms to give farmers the options to choose from with regard to the most suitable hybrid rice variety to use,” Atega said.
Sammy Barneso, 32, a rice farmer for five years shared his on-farm experience planting hybrid rice for the first time.
He planted M46-Bigante Plus (hybrid) in one hectare and Rc300 (inbred) in another hectare. Based on the recommendation he applied six bags of fertilizers for the hybrid rice while three bags for the inbred variety.
“I am grateful for the result because there is a big difference in the yield between the hybrid and inbred seeds. The result showed that I can maximize my production through the help of the high yielding variety,” Barneso testified.
His testing has shown significant yield advantage of hybrid rice over the inbred rice. He harvested 90 bags or equivalent to 5.31 metric tons by using Rc300 while 134 bags equivalent to 7.77 metric tons using M46-Bigante Plus.
Based on the estimated production cost farmers need at least ₱25,000 for inbred while ₱35,000 for hybrid rice.
“With higher yield, hybrid rice production also translates to higher gross returns. My gross income for inbred rice production is ₱90,000 while I earned ₱116,000 for the hybrid rice production. Which has a difference of ₱26,000, this is a big help for us,” Barneso said.
Through his experience, Sammy Barneso is one of those who are now convinced to use again the technology for the next cropping season.
Meanwhile, DA-Caraga Rice Program is now undergoing the data analysis and impact assessment of the said model farm.
The region has 74,580 hectares planted with rice for the dry cropping season (Sept. 2019 – March 2020) wherein 2,189 hectares were planted with hybrid rice.
The Department is now on its clustering approach in promoting hybrid rice and the city of Butuan has been one of the department’s partners in implementing the program.
“Hybrid rice can grow best when there is appropriate water and fertilizer coupled with appropriate technologies. As part of our strategy identifying areas for this matter is necessary. We are encouraging other farmers, especially those areas who are good for hybrid rice production to adopt the technology,” said Marisa Garces, Rice Program Focal Person.
For the continuous adoption of the technology this year, rice farmers in the region’s five provinces will receive 6,648 bags of hybrid seeds worth ₱33 million and 18,000 bags of fertilizers worth ₱22 million, Garces added. (DA Caraga/PIA Agusan del Norte)