Discover and get to know these new rice technologies which will uplift the Palay industry in the Philippines.
By Pete Samonte
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala led other guests and visitors during the annual Lakbay Palay ceremonies hosted by the Philippine Rice Institute (PhilRice) held at the Central Station at the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, held April.
Together with other guests, Alcala presented the latest rice technologies approved for commercial production before thousands of farmers and students. These were the newly released rice varieties, Metarhizium anisopliae in powder form, a rice crop manager, the latest rototiller design, and nutri-rice milk.
The six approved rice varieties for saline, rain-fed, and irrigated lowlands have potential yields ranging from six metric tons per hectare (mt/ha) to 12 mt/ha, even in adverse conditions. They have good eating quality and are resistant to major pests and diseases, including stem borers, green leaf hopper, brown plant hopper, bacterial leaf blight, sheath blight, and rice blast.
The six released varieties are NSIC Rc 324 (Salinas 10), NSIC Rc 346 (Sahod Ulan 11), NSIC Rc308 (Tubigan 26) Rc 298 (Tubigan 23), and NSIC318H (Mestiso 48). These varieties are all early maturing and can be harvested 104 to 114 days after planting. The other
variety, NSIC Rc342SR (Mabango 4), is an aromatic special purpose rice with a potential yield of seven tons per hectare.
Metarhizium anisoplaiae is a fungal microbial agent that controls rice black bug (RBB), and it has been developed in powder form as an alternative pest management strategy. The powdered biological agent is environment-friendly and does not pose risks to humans and animals. It does not leave residue on crops and is cheaper that chemical pesticides.
The Rice Crop Manager is an Internet-based device used for identifying nutrient applications. By accessing http://webapps.irri.org/ph/rcm, farmers receive locationspecific nutrient recommendations based on farmers’ practices, rice varieties, and considerations of the farm environment. Researchers on the technology assure users that the Rice Crop Manager can increase farmers’ incomes by up to 4,500 per hectare.
Meanwhile, a prototype of a rototiller that reduces labor costs was also presented at Lakbay Palay. With a single pass using this new rototiller, after plowing, a rice field is already well puddled and no longer needs a second passing. The performance of the rototiller impressed Secretary Alcala, who invited other engineers and the PhilRice engineering department to replicate the newly-designed rototillers for distribution to the five winners of hand tractors whose names had been drawn earlier.
Nutri-rice milk is a healthy drink made from germinated brown rice and contains gamma amino butyric acid, which improves brain and cardiovascular functions and can slow down the effects of aging.
This story appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s June 2014 issue.