BASEY, Samar – The Department of Agriculture here in the region is pushing for farmers to fully use hybrid varieties of rice for them to have increased harvests.
The department, speaking through its regional executive director U-Nichols Manalo, said that by resorting to hybrid varieties, the farmers could expect more than double from their current yields.
The DA-8 staged a three-day national rice technology forum in this town which ended on September 22 and attended by more than 3,000 farmers and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector coming from different parts of the country.
“Our message is clear: Let us look at hybrid rice anew and convince more enterprising farmers, crop experts, and other key players to push and rally behind rice hybridization in Region 8,” Manalo said, referencing the purpose of the gathering.
The participants visited Barangay Old San Agustin, this town, to see a rice farm of 12.6 hectares planted solely of hybrid rice varieties.
Manalo disclosed that last year, the province of Samar posted a total rice production of 149,307 metric tons covering 54,216 hectares representing around 15.6 percent of the region’s total output of 954,844 metric tons.
“Its yield level was seen as the lowest level among the provinces in the region at 2.75 metric tons per hectare,” he said.
Manalo explained that farmers need to be more competitive to cater to the ever-increasing demand for rice.
“As we all know increasing rice output is central to being competitive. And this is precisely where hybrid rice technology could help. Thus we are excited and optimistic about the future of hybrid rice in the region,” he said.
(RESTITUTO A. CAYUBIT)