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Demonstration farm in Western Visayas promotes hybrid rice.

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To promote hybrid rice technology and achieve rice self-sufficiency in Western Visayas, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has created a new demonstration farm in the municipality of Calinog in the province of Iloilo (Region 6).

A total of 105 farmer-cooperators are involved in DA’s Community Hybrid Rice Model Farm (CHRMF) Project, which spans a contiguous area in Badlan Grande, Badu’s barangays Impalidan, Cabagiao, Camalongo, Canabajan, Gama Grande, Guiso, Malitbog, Maspasan, and Nalbugan. This area is covered by 101 hectares of hybrid rice planted in six different areas.

DA also has demo farm projects in Cuartero, Capiz, Sibunag, Guimaras, Hamtic, Antique, and Banga Town in the province of Aklan, in addition to Iloilo.

According to Karen Mae Hipolito, an agriculturist II for DA Region 6, “They (new areas) were approved by the OPA (Office of the Provincial Agriculturist) Iloilo since the places also have potential(s) to cultivate hybrid rice.”

The department uses the clustering strategy to produce data that will promote the use of desirable hybrid rice varieties, technology, and management strategies.

Higher yields and lower losses are possible with hybrid rice cultivars.

The farmers belonged to 12 associations and were registered in the government’s Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture.

The initiative began with the verification and orientation of registered farmers in February of last year. Then in March, areas tilled by farmers joining the project were measured during a geo-referencing (taking an aerial photo for mapping) process.

“The varieties LP937, Hatao Liksi, Jackpot, Bigante Plus, Habilis Plus, and SL19 were sown. According to Hipolito, direct seeding, manual transplanting, and a ride-on transplanter were all used to plant it.

Farmers who participated in the hybrid rice technology initiative were also given vouchers for fertilizer worth P147,753 and technical support through farmers’ field schools.

According to Hipolito, some farmers have already harvested after more than three months of cultivating their land. Others are still waiting for their time.

She continued by saying that they would continue the project during the second crop, beginning in October, to verify the adaptation of the different types.

With this second planting, the CHRMF project will be extended to Negros Occidental cities Cadiz City and Himamaylan City.

According to a study released by the Philippine Statistics Authority on September 23 of this year, the region generated a record-breaking 2.3 million metric tons in 2021, representing a growth rate of 2.3%.

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