DA eyes introduction of drought resistant rice variety in Zambo

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/13 September) – The regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to unveil three drought tolerant certified rice varieties for adaptation by farmers in this city and throughout the region.

The three varieties – NCICRc-222, Rc192 (rainfed) and Rc11 (upland) – bear good grains during trial planting and were recommended for field trials to be managed by farmers in the different rainfed areas in this city.

The trial planting was recently conducted by researchers from the Office of the City Agriculture in Sitio Gapuh, Barangay Talabaan, 18 kilometer east of this city.

Raul Ramon Bucoy, DA program coordinator for Zamboanga City, said that once proven viable, it will be highly recommended for adaptation for seed and rice productions later following the technology used in the study.

Bucoy said the three varieties were thoroughly evaluated by the researchers and were also chosen by the farmers from among the fully grown 12 varieties in the rainfed areas planted where the study was conducted.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine Rice Institute (PhilRice) provided the different rice varieties purposely to look for the best varieties suitable to be planted in rainfed areas in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Bucoy said the introduction of the three new rice varieties will make the idle and wide rainfed areas productive and can help in the government’s efforts to achieve rice self-sufficiency in the future.

Councilor Reynerio Candido, chairman of the city council’s committee on agriculture, said that it is high time that the rice farmers should make the vast rainfed areas productive by planting suitable rice varieties with less cost of production.

He said there will be an increase in the local rice production once all the available rainfed areas are planted to rice.

Even though the local farmers’ production could not cope with the rice demand of Zamboanga City, at least they will have an increase in harvest, Candido added.

Meanwhile, the Office of the City Agriculture is also conducting two other studies on rice production aside from the drought tolerant study.

The studies are on the Saline variety which is ongoing in Barangay Recodo, 15 kilometers west of this city, and Submergence rice variety in Barangay Guiwan, 3.4 kilometers east of this city.

The studies were encouraged by the IRRI and PhilRice aimed to address the climate change phenomenon. (MindaNews)