As per reports from Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) – October 5, 2018 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Private hybrid rice seeds producer SeedWorks Philippines is urging the government to beef up its hybrid rice program to ensure the supply of Filipinos’ main staple. “Now is a good time to look for new technologies,” SeedWorks President and General Manager Carlos Saplala told The STAR on the side-lines of the Agri link 2018 on Thursday. “With hybrid, you just change one input and your potential yield could be significant”. The Philippines only produces an average of four metric tons (MT) per hectare but hybrid could yield up to 10 MT per hectare. The challenge really is being able to transfer the technology so that farmers could see the potential. The government is now pushing for hybrid technology and that is good. we hope it will continue so that growth and adoption rate will increase,” he added.
While hybrid has long been introduced in the country, its growth was slow due to the different priorities of every administration. “I did not feel the focus on hybrid before as it was not a focal program. But the support of the Duterte administration on hybrid has been very good,” Saplala said. SeedWorks produces hybrid rice seeds and vegetable seeds in India which are brought into the Philippines. It is doing seed production trials in small scale in the country to be able to reach the yield it is getting in India. SeedWorks is present in major rice producing areas in the country with close to 20 percent of the market share of the hybrid rice industry. “We want to further increase by investing in extension works, reach out more farmers, explain the technology and be there to help achieve the genetic potential,” Saplala said.