Calbayog rice farmers reoriented on Hybrid Rice Production

Food sufficiency remains a continuing challenge for our government since the 1980s, with our country importing rice to augment domestic production. One major factor in achieving food security is a sustainable and efficient rice production system. Hybrid rice technology is a key strategy for increasing rice production and achieving food security and rice self-sufficiency. However, hybrid rice production requires a thorough understanding of various practices to minimize costs and maximize returns.
The Agricultural Training Institute - Regional Training Center 8 conducted briefings on hybrid rice production for agricultural technicians and farmers.  These briefings aim to promote and expand hybrid rice cultivation to achieve sufficiency and increase rice productivity and profitability.
The 4th technical briefing on hybrid rice production enabled farmers in Western Samar to learn about the advantages of hybrid rice compared to inbred varieties. Lectures also tackled  the cultural management of hybrid rice from crop establishment to nutrient management, and the cost and return analysis of the production of the said rice variety.
Ms. Gina M. Raceles, a rice agripreneur and a participant during the activity, shared her secrets in enjoying farming. “First, we must listen and learn what the ATs have taught us; next is to apply and adopt the new technologies not just to gain more food but also to gain additional income; and third, we should practice the technology being taught to us such as this one – hybrid rice production”, she said. She also reminded her co-participants that “money is in the farm”.
Another rice farmer/participant, Mr. Victor Matranas,  also agreed with what Ms. Raceles shared. Knowing that by attending this training, he can contribute to the government’s aim in increasing rice production through hybrid rice. He was thankful for the knowledge he earned and said, “Ang may alam, mas nakakalamang” (He who knows has the advantage). He encouraged his fellow participants to inform and share with other rice farmers the benefits of hybrid rice production.
Currently, there is a pressing need to increase the yield of rice per unit area per unit time in order to address the continual increases in demand by the country’s population that is growing by 2.3% per annum. With thorough understanding and increased knowledge of farmers in the use of hybrid rice production technology, increase in their production from 90-100 bags/hectares to 130-140 bags/ hectares will be easily achieved.
Fifty-three (53) participants attended the 4th Technical Briefing on Hybrid Rice Production for 2017 held on March 14, 2017 at the Girl Scout Building in Calbayog City, Samar.