Dr. Frisco M. Malabanan
Hybrid rice technology is seen as the most viable option for increasing rice productivity towards a more competitive rice industry, and our long quest for rice self sufficiency. Both public and private sectors are continuosly promoting the benefits of hybrid rice technology. SL Agritech Corp (SLAC), one of the leading hybrid rice companies in the Philippines, is intensifying its information dissemination on hybrid rice technology to reach out to more farmers in the country.
SLAC establishes technology demonstrations all over the country, particularly for major rice producing provinces every season. Technology demonstrations aim to showcase the performance of SLAC super hybrid rice seeds such as SL-8H, SL-12H, and SL-18H. They are known for their yield, maturity and low shattering characteristics. These varieties have been proven to be highyielding. SL-8H has an average yield of 7-17 metric tons per hectare (mt/ha) with 105-115 days of maturity. SL-18H has an average yield of 7-17.5 mt/ha with 110-115 days of maturity. SL-12H has an average yield of 7-14 mt/ha with 100-110 days of maturity. These hybrid rice seeds have low shattering characteristic, which can be harvested until 90% grain maturity.
Technology briefings are also done to enhance the technical knowledge of farmers in planting hybrid rice varieties.
SLAC also conducts different on-ground activies such as field tours and field days in the technology demonstration sites in coordination of local goverments to encourage more farmers to use hybrid rice seeds. Furthermore, SLAC organizes harvest festivals in selected areas in the country.
Recently, a Grand Harvest Festival was celebrated in Brgy. San Pedro Palcarangan,
Lubao, Pampanga to celebrate another bountiful harvest in the entire barangay.
The activity was headed by Dr. Lim Bon Liong, chairman and CEO of SLAC, fully supported by the national and local goverment unit. Present for the occasion were Mayor Mylyn Cayabyab of Lubao, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Usec. Ariel T. Cayanan with Engr. Roy Abaya of DA RFO 3 on behalf of Secretary Manny Piñol of the Department of Agriculture.
The program raised rice farmers’ awareness that yield and income can increased without additional land. Now, Brgy. San Pedro Palcarangan is known as “Barangay SL-8H.”
To further extend the knowledge and benefits of hybrid rice technology, the private sector Rice Productivity Advocacy, Inc. (Rice Board) launched the National Rice Technology Forum (Rice Congress) all over the country. Recently, the 6th National Rice Technology Forum was held in Olingan, Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte. 3,000 farmers and local extension workers participated. SL Agritech is one of the active members of the Rice Board and an ally of the organization’s mandate.
SLAC advocates helping Filipino farmers and assisting in achieving the country’s rice self-sufficiency by promoting and encouraging the utilization of hybrid rice technology. It is an auxilary of the government in the development of the agricultural sector.
This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s June 2018 issue.