DILIMAN, Quezon City—Many rice farmers in the country who use the hybrid variety are now harvesting up to 10 metric tons (MT) per hectare and are earning Php70,000 per cropping season depending on the buying price of palay.
Dr. Frisco Malabanan, adviser of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Hybrid Rice Program, shared this data in an interview with DZRH reporter Henry Uri and Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Officer-in-Charge Assistant Director Niet Arceo on “Agri Asenso” last June 11, 2022.
Malabanan said that this is because of the characteristics of hybrid rice seeds which are produced by breeding two different parents using what is called "hybrid vigor" in rice cultivation. The resulting hybrid seed or F1 generation possesses the best qualities of its parents in terms of yield advantage, resistance to pest and diseases, among others, compared with the inbred varieties.
“With the ordinary (inbred) seeds, farmers usually harvest 4MT/ha to 5MT/ha. With hybrid rice, farmers can produce 8MT/ha to 10MT/ha. This has been proven in our country in the past three years, under the National Rice Program, where over 3 million hectares have already been planted with hybrid rice for the last three years under Secretary William Dar,” he said.
A hybrid rice farmer himself, Malabanan said that farmers can earn Php70,000 up to Php100,000 under good market conditions. However, to cope with the high prices of inorganic fertilizer, he advised fellow farmers to use organic fertilizer as well to reduce expenses in the farm.
"For hybrid rice farming, we also recommend balanced fertilization. You have inorganic as well as organic fertilizers. For organic fertilizer, farmers can use foliar fertilizer, soil ameliorants, or bio-fertilizer based on the results of their most recent soil analysis from the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Philippine Rice Research Institute, and DA Regional Field Offices (RFOs). Through this, farmers will be able to know how much nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium should be applied in the farm,” he explained.
If inbred rice farmers would opt to switch, Malabanan said that the DA, together with its RFOs, the ATI, and private sector partners, offers training and briefing to teach them how to cultivate hybrid seeds. He added that rice farmers enrolled in the Registry System for Basics Sectors in Agriculture may also receive free hybrid seeds from the DA through their local government.
For Malabanan’s full-length interview, visit the ATI Facebook page at www.facebook.com/atiinteractive.