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DA to farmers: Plant next-gen rice varieties

The Department of Agriculture (DA) XI has urged farmers to start planting next generation of rice varieties that levels the quality of imported rice.

DA XI Research Chief Melani Provido, during the Field Day on Next Generation Rice Varieties last Feb.20, said farmers, including millers and traders, “should keep an open mind on the emergence of next-gen rice varieties not only on its yield performance but also its high acceptability among local rice consumers.”

“These varieties were subjected to science-based evaluation and showed promising results including its palatability tests. We urged our partners from the local government as well as our seed producers to help us promote these rice varieties for our farmers to plant it and rise above the challenges that confront our local rice industry,” Provido said.

To showcase the performance of nine promising rice varieties, DA XI and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), with assistance of the local government unit of Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, established a demo farm in Barangays Poblacion and New Ilocos.

The varieties are Rc402, Rc438, Rc440, Rc442, Rc480, Rc358, Rc400, Rc436, and Rc27.

In its website, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said breeding these early-maturing varieties is one of the strategies in climate change mitigation.

“The earlier the varieties mature, the earlier they are ready to be harvested. Our farmers can harvest and thresh the crop before strong typhoons or heavy drought come,” said Dr. Norvie Manigbas, head of the Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division.

An intense competition on rice industry is expected to hit big time as the signing of Rice Tariffication Law opens gates for cheaper imported rice.

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