China plans to test hybrid rice seeds in Palawan

Officials of the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA) meet with representatives of AirFarmer Co., Ltd based on Sichuan, China, over the proposal to conduct a demo on the planting of 20 super hybrid rice varieties in Palawan. (Photo courtesy of PIO)

A company based in Sichuan, China is partnering with the provincial government to conduct a test farming in the province of 20 varieties of super hybrid rice.

Mayla Rebusada, provincial agriculture technologist and rice report officer, told Palawan News that the investors were led by Dr. Changxiang Mao and Director Xiao Langmu of AirFarmer Co., Ltd.

The company offers information, products, and services regarding hybrid rice varieties to farmers in the province of Sichuan in southwest China to support rice sufficiency and production.

Rebusada said the company is proposing to venture into the techno-demonstration of the rice seeds in a 5,000-square meter land to determine what is suitable for Palawan’s climate and kind of soil.

“Nandoon na lahat itatanim ang 20 varieties na ibibigay nila at doon titignan kung ano ba ang angkop at pwede dito sa atin,” Rebusada said. The rice seed varieties will be planted within two seasons sometime in June.

The Chinese experts, Rebusada said, claimed that the average harvest of hybrid rice in the identified size of demo site could produce up to 10-17 metric tons, which is more than the province’s median of eight to 10 metric tons per hectare.

“Dapat mapatunayan na ‘yan ang kayang i-produce nilang rice kasi kung sa atin nasa 10 metric tons ay ilang kaban lang ‘yon,” she said.

She added that super hybrid production will be operated by a “cooperator” they will identify and will be monitored by the Chinese company.

The cooperator will be tasked to manage the rice fields after he has been provided technical assistance by the provincial and municipal agriculturists.

“Yan ang mga counterpart natin and from time-to-time pupunta naman daw sila dito para i-monitor lahat,” she said, adding they are now working on the permits that will be needed for the transportation of the seedlings from China.

“Para atleast kapag ipapadala na nila ang mga seedlings bago ang June okay na, kasi baka mamaya maharang. Once na nandito na ang mga seeds, ‘yong na-identify na cooperator na ang bahala,” she said.

Rebusada also explained that they will implement the massive production of the super hybrid rice seeds once suitable varieties have been identified.

The province’s interest in accepting the offer from the Chinese hybrid rice investors, she said, is anchored on the hope that it will meet the 150% rice sufficiency target.

“Maaring malampasan pa nga natin (150%) pero depende kung magiging suitable na mapalago dito ang kanilang seedlings. Doon pa lang tayo magma-massive produce,” she added.

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