A researcher at the Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has called on farmers to use quick turn-around technologies (QTA), which synchronize planting and other techniques to cope with the threats of drought. “We encourage our farmers to practice quick turn-around technologies (QTA) that is in synchrony with the community. This means farmers with stable water supply are encouraged to plant immediately after they harvest,” said Jhonny Maloom, PhilRice researcher, told Times.
“This has to be synchronous with the community so that they can avoid pest infestations,” he added, explaining that farmers must agree to plant their farms at once so that they will be able to collectively face the problem.
He added that if all farmers plant their crops simultaneously, the pests will not be able to prey on an individual farm so the damage will be minimized.
The practice can be best applied to areas that are minimally affected by the drought. However, in areas with real time problems on irrigation, Maloom said PhilRice is recommending that they wait for ample water supply before planting rice.
“In PhilRice, we encourage them to plant high value commercial crops that need minimal water unlike rice such as vegetables that is a short-duration crop which they can sell in the meantime,” he said.
Apart from other crops, Maloom also recommended the use of drought-resistant varieties.
“We also have drought-resistant variety that can be harvested in 104-110 days such as PSB Rc 10, NSIC Rc130, and NSIC Rc134,” he said.
“We also have that are suitable to drought-affected areas or upland ecosystem that requires less water, like NSIC Rc 194, PSB Rc 14, and PSB Rc 68 that can harvest up to 5.5 tons per hectare,” Maloom added.
Such varieties lower risks to drought and higher potential for harvest, Maloom explained.