Bicolano Rice Farmer Produces Yield More than Three Times Higher than National Average
Yes, we can! The overwhelming harvest affirms the country’s capability to meet national rice sustainability goals.
The country’s rice farming sector has a ton of good news to share despite the ongoing national quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A farmer in Bicol has recently proven that the country could still possibly meet its food sustainability target.
Genaro Tamon from Magarao, Camarines Sur on May 12, 2020 harvested 15.73 metric tons of rice (286 sacks with about 55 kilos each) from his one-hectare farm. That is more than thrice higher than the national yield per hectare average of 4.07 metric tons (based on latest quarterly data from the Philippine Statistics Authority in January 2020). This is also probably the first time for a single farmer from the Bicol Region to produce such a high yield per hectare.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office in Region 5 immediately commended Tamon for his record harvest and encouraged other farmers to follow his example. It emphasized the role of proper farm management, good agricultural practices, favorable climatic conditions, and use of high-quality seeds for producing a bountiful harvest.
Tamon is thankful that he chose the right variety of rice, which he cited for his overwhelming harvest. “Wow talaga ang US88 variety! (The US88 variety is amazing!),” he exclaimed. “Isa itong patunay na maganda ang ani basta alagaan at bigyan ng sapat na kailangan ang palay (This is a proof that proper techniques and nourishment of rice plants can lead to a bountiful harvest).”
US88 is one of the flagship hybrid rice varieties of agricultural research firm SeedWorks Philippines. It is an ideal rice variety for the country’s prevailing climate and is proven tolerant of the typical crop diseases that affect rice plants. Moreover, US88 is well-noted for its long-grain rice with a premium, soft-eating quality.
“This great achievement of Mr. Tamon affirms our confidence that the Filipino farmer can competitively produce rice if we provide them the support they need,” said SeedWorks PH President Carlos Saplala. “This is a testament to the potential of agriculture in the country. We have realized during this global crisis that it is still our fellow Filipino farmers whom we can rely on for supplying our daily food requirement.”
The country’s capability to sufficiently supply its rice requirement is again being underlined these days. In March, Vietnam, the third largest rice importer in the world, implemented a rice export ban to ensure their own local supply, affecting inventory in the Philippines. Although Vietnam reopened its exports this month, global rough rice traded may still remain below the usual level due to the drought experienced in Thailand.
As an added reward, SeedWorks PH has announced an incentive to Tamon in hopes that this achievement would also motivate other farmers across the country to adopt effective farming techniques. “We will give P200,000 to Mr. Tamon as recognition for his great achievement. To Mr. Tamon and the rest of the Filipino farmers, our heartfelt gratitude for producing food for our families,” Saplala said.
Tamon is among the many farmer-partners for a SeedWorks PH program that guides and assists local farmers. He was also a recipient of the DA Region 5’s Rice Achievers’ Award for three years and was once recognized in DA’s Regional Gawad Saka.
SeedWorks PH has always been supportive of the DA’s life-long goal of meeting national food sufficiency. In April, the company also donated high-quality sweet corn seeds worth P750,000 to the agency’s ‘Plant, Plant, Plant’ program as part of the government’s long-term Covid-19 response efforts.