LChina super rice seen to boost Ilocano farmers’ productivity

LAOAG CITY -— Ilocos Norte’s rice production efficiency is expected to increase this harvest season as the People’s Republic of China has showed the way how to boost farmers’ income by planting quality seeds.

Provincial Board Member Domingo Ambrocio, in his capacity as chairperson of the committee on agriculture, reported on Thursday that he, along with representatives from the Chinese Consulate Office and the local government unit of San Nicolas town, personally visited the consolidated rice fields on April 26 to monitor the China rice seeds project.

In San Miguel village along the national highway of San Nicolas, at least 20 hectares of consolidated rice farms are planted with Longping, a China hybrid rice variety that promises good yield to farmer-cooperators.

Longping has bigger grains, is early maturing and resistant to pest and diseases. The 20 farmer beneficiaries are excited to see the result as they are set to harvest this week.

According to Provincial Agriculturist Norma Lagmay, the China super rice variety is a great boost to Ilocos Norte farmers’ productivity as about 10 tons of this were donated to them through the Chinese Consulate Office based in Barangay 1, San Nicolas town.

Ilocos Norte is among the country’s top rice producers and the help of the Chinese government all the more inspires farmers here to plant high yielding hybrid rice varieties.

With a capital input pegged at Php 57,200 per hectare, the beneficiaries of the China super rice is expecting a yield of 168 cavans per hectare or equivalent to Php150,000. It means that for every hectare planted with Longping, a farmer can generate an average income of Php 86,000 per hectare 110 days after planting.

Compared to local hybrid varieties, the desired yield is almost the same as the China rice variety but based on observation conducted by agriculture experts, Ambrocio said it shows that the China rice variety is more resistant to drought, including pest and diseases.

Last year, different rice varieties from China were tested in Ilocos soil to prove its adaptability here.

The Chinese government later on decided to donate about 10 tons of hybrid seeds to selected farmer-beneficiaries who were among those hard-hit by typhoon. Leilanie Adriano/PNA