Nueva Vizcaya shifts to hybrid rice in big way
By Gene Basilio
The Manila Times, October 16, 2003

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya—This province has decided to shift to hybrid rice in a big way.

Bernabe Almirol, administrative officer of the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), said about 2,700 hectares of irrigated land have been earmarked for hybrid rice cultivation to increase production.

The target, Almirol said, is to harvest 240 cavans of rice a hectare from the 86 cavans producted from the traditional rice varieties irrigation in the lowlands.

He said the hybrid rice to be introduced is a cross of two genetically different parent plants with positive qualities that ensures, among others, fast growth and better reproduction.

Almirol said the introduction of hybrid rice means that only 15 to 20 kilograms would be needed for planting one hectare of farmland as against the usual three cavans of traditional rice seeds.

For his part, Felipe Panganiban, provincial agriculturist, said that to encourage the switch to hybrid rice, the provincial government decided to provide incentives to farmers.

These include a subsidy of P60 each farmer to buy a kilo of hybrid rice seeds, P500 each hectares for fertilizers as well as free soil analysis, free bactericides and free zinc for farms deficient in this soil nutrient.

Panganiban said Nueva Vizcaya contributed 192,501 metric tons of palay in 2002, which means that the province is highly sufficient in rice while the country, as a whole, does not produce enough of the staple food for its growing population.

“This is the reason why there is an urgent need to increase our production by 30-percent over the certified inbred varities,” Panganiban said.

He said that the use of hybrid rice seeds enabled China to produce more than enough food for its vast population, totaling more than one billion.

Panganiban added that Nueva Vizcaya has been identified as one of the 36 provinces where the hybrid rice technology will be promoted to attain the country’s 2004 target of 15.48 million metric tons of palay.

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