Hybrid rice: The future of rice farming in the Philippines

Teofilo, a rice farmer from San Miguel, Isabela has just computed his earning for one cropping season. The amount was more than what one can win in some popular game shows on TV, a staggering 1.2 million.

Indeed, Mang Teofilo had become a millionaire in just four to six months with the help of new hybrid rice Mestizo. Ordinarily, his 30 hectare land would earn him 0.6 million per cropping season but with Mestizo he earned double by harvesting at least 150 cavans per hectare that he sold at 400 per cavan.

Documented success stories of hybrid rice adoption abound in other parts of the country: Isabela, Kalinga, Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental.

According to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) Deputy Director Edilberto Redona hybrid rice can in fact give farmers an additional 1,272 kg of palay per hectare, or at least 25% increase in yield.

Given the amazing income generating potential of hybrid rice varieties , can it be the saving grace of rice farming in the country? Can filipino farmers have, at last, the competitive advantage they need to compete with other markets, or finally raise their standard and quality of living? What makes hybrid rice superior to inbred rice varieties?

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