LAOAG CITY (PIA) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is promoting the use of hybrid rice varieties to farmers in Ilocos Norte to help them increase their yield and crop value.

During the week-long Hybrid Rice Class Technology Forum, the DA established the 120-hectare demonstration area showcasing the 28 hybrid rice varieties to the farmer participants in the town of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.

According to Vida Cacal, chief of Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Secretary (RAFIS), hybrid rice costs more to plant, however, it will yield more crops and has a higher market value.
“Hybrid rice yield is higher compared to inbred. If we are to really target what our President says in the Masagana 200 program, which is, farmers can harvest at least 200 cavan per hectare, the yield needs to be about 10 times higher. With hybrid rice, our rice sufficiency goal will be possible,” Cacal said.
Compared to inbred rice which yields four to five tons per hectare, hybrid rice varieties can yield six to 12 tons of rice.
According to Cacal, hybrid rice is also more resistant against pests, diseases, and “very competitive against weeds.”
In Region 1, Ilocos Norte has the highest hybrid rice utilization.
The province has 72% of the hybrid utilization rate; Ilocos Sur has 38%;  Pangasinan has 36% utilization; and La Union has 17%.
In the whole of Region 1, the hybrid rice utilization is 41%.
DA is encouraging the remaining 59% who uses inbred rice to adopt hybrid rice for increased crop production.
 According to Cacal, if DA achieves 80-90% of hybrid rice utilization, this will make a significant contribution to the rice sufficiency goal of the province.
The DA and the National Rice Board plan to bring farmers from every municipality in the province to have a hybrid rice variety field demonstration area to teach farmers the proper way of managing and planting hybrid rice.  (JCR/AMB/EJFG/MFCM-intern/PIA Ilocos Norte)

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