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Bicol urged to raise rice seed output

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rice planting Albay
PHILSTAR

THE Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said farmers in Bicol region need to produce higher-quality seed to increase access to planting material suitable to the growing conditions.

PhilRice Genetics Resources Division Head Jonathan M. Niones during the Lakbay Palay Dry Season tour in Ligao City, Albay, said that increased production of quality seed is needed to ensure that farmers have access to inputs.

“Low-quality seed leads to unsynchronized germination and growth of crop, which will later become a problem in crop management,” he added.

Bicol, which is prone to floods, drought and typhoons, was rated first among the regions in terms of resiliency to climate with the area’s seed reaching an 85% germination rate.

Mr. Niones said that quality seed can increase rice yields by 5% to 10% due to higher gemination rates.

In 2010, PhilRice established a Bicol office to spur research and development as well as diversified rice-based production in the region.

In 2014, the institute reported that the region’s seven varieties out of 14 survived the testing — three of which are hybrid rice seeds.

PhilRice said for Bicol it recommended NSIC Rc 302, NSIC Rc 308 and new varieties NSIC Rc 352 and NSIC 354. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato