For over 10,000 upland farmers in the Philippines, there is a basket of options they can choose from in selecting their seeds to help them increase their yield and income.

By Hanah Hazel Mavi Biag-Manalo

According to a researcher from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), upland farmers can plant some of the modern upland rice varieties such as PSB Rc9, Rc11, NSIC Rc192, and 23, as well as their traditional rice varieties.

According to Ruben B. Miranda, head of the Technology Management and Services Division of PhilRice and national coordinator of the Upland Rice Development Program, modern upland rice varieties have higher yields than the traditional rice varieties. Increased yields could help upland communities attain food security, Miranda said.

He explained that the traditional rice varieties should also be planted because these command a high price in the local market and will easily find a niche in the international market.

One modern upland rice varieties that yields 2.9 tons per hectare (t/ha) on the average and matures in just 119 days is PSB Rc9 (Apo). PSB Rc9 has intermediate resistance to blast and bacterial leaf blight (BLB) but is susceptible to tungro. PSB Rc11 (Canlaon), on the other hand, yields 2.6 t/ha on the average and matures in 125 days. PSB Rc11 has resistance to stem borer and intermediate resistance to blast and BLB, but is susceptible to tungro and the brown plant hopper (BPH).

Other upland rice varieties include NSIC Rc192, which is a rainfed variety but which performs well under upland conditions, and NSIC Rc23. NSIC Rc192 has an average yield of 3.7 t/ha and matures in 106 days; it is susceptible to BLB and tungro. NSIC Rc23 averages 2.9 t/ha and matures in 108 days; however, it is susceptible to tungro.

Miranda advises farmers to plant the upland rice varieties that are suited to their areas to achieve their potential yield. Meanwhile, Miranda also encourages upland farmers to continue planting their preferred traditional rice varieties for additional income. The table below shows the most preferred traditional upland rice varieties in every region in the country.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s October 2014 issue.