By Anna Valmero
MUNOZ, NUEVA ECIJA— Visayas and Mindanao will be tapped to increase the production of hybrid rice seeds by 2013 as part of the country’s effort to achieve rice self sufficiency.
At least 1,000 hectares will be planted with hybrid rice, particularly the newly commercialized hybrid rice varieties, Mestiso 19 (NSIC Rc202H) and Mestiso 20 (NSIC Rc204H).
The additional seeds from the expansion will be used to augment the requirements for over 50,000 hectares of rice farms across the country in 2013 to be planted with hybrid seeds, said engineer Leo Javier, Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) branch manager.
Following the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s rice plan, Javier said the station’s 61-hectare seed production area may be devoted to hybrid rice while inbred seed production can be contracted out.
“Through contract out, the landowner will produce the required seeds and shoulder the production and harvest expenses. PhilRice will dry, clean, and bag the seeds; and pay the landowner with the commercial palay price,” Javier said.
Expansion could also be done through renting rice farms, entailing PhilRice to cover production expenses and labor.
Meanwhile, the Negros unit of PhilRice also contracted eight hectares of nearby farms to produce high quality seeds of newly released and climate-change ready rice varieties.
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