Vol. 23 No.

3 ISSN 0117-0376 July-September 2010


Researchers, farmers,consumers — everyone’s now involved.

pathways toriceselfsufficiency

The sun rises in agriculture as hope inspires us to dream of better future. Rice farming is always a promising endeavor with the innovative and creative strategies intended to increase yields and decrease production costs. In this issue, we focus on the ways how PhilRice attempts to help farmers attain holistic development and help ensure the country’s rice self-sufficiency.


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NEWS 2 PhilRice to help energize rice production in Africa, unfavorable lands in RP 2 New DA chief to focus on product marketing 3 EU project to bring small-scale irrigation 4 Aurora e-village Text Center soon to operate 4 Science confabs affirm talents of PhilRice researchers 5 Rainfed rice farmers in Tarlac to produce more rice

12 Climate forecast bulletin 16 Usapang magsasaka 21 Nilasing na sorbetes 30 Mga tanong ukol sa palay 33 Global rice update

FEATURES 6 Increasing trend: Hope in rainfed areas 8 RSO: Real superheroes in the outskirts 11 ‘Green machine’ brings hope to farmers 14 Extra rice, please 18 Women power on the rise for rice 20 Rice prices: Up/down 22 Rice-ceramics tandem clicks 24 The sun shines on agriculture courses, too 26 ICT: Defying geographical barriers 28 Attaining rice self-sufficiency through Filipino values

Volume 23 No. 3•July-September 2010 Website: www.philrice.gov.ph•PhilRice Text Center: 0920-911-1398

Consulting Editors CONSTANTE T. BRIONES•ANSELMO A. ROQUE•Managing Editor MARC ELVIN T. LOZANO Contributors ELMER D. ALOSNOS•ELLA LOIS T. BESTIL•HANAH HAZEL MAVI M. BIAG•CHRISTINA A. FREDILES CHARISMA LOVE B. GADO•EDUARDO JIMMY P. QUILANG•EV A. PARAC•MA. ADRIELLE D. SOLSOLOY•MARY GRACE V. LANUZA•PRECIOUS GLENN V. ANTALAN Design and Layout CARLO G. DACUMOS•Illustrations CARLITO N. BIBAL•CARLO G. DACUMOS•ANDREI B. LANUZA•Circulation AMOR VIRDI G. ACOSTA Editorial Advisers RONILO A. BERONIO•KAREN ELOISA T. BARROGA•ANDREI B. LANUZA PhilRice Stations: Central Experiment Station Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, 3119 Nueva Ecija•Trunklines: (44) 456-0258; -0277, -0285•Email: prri@email.philrice.gov.ph PhilRice Agusan Basilisa, RTRomualdez, 8611 Agusan del Norte•Tel: (85) 818-4477; 343-0778•Tel/Fax: 343-0768•Email: agusan@email.philrice.gov.ph PhilRice Batac MMSU Campus, Batac City, 2906 Ilocos Norte•Tel/Fax: (77) 792-2545, -4702•Email: batac@email.philrice.gov.ph PhilRice Isabela Malasin, San Mateo, 3318 Isabela•Tel: (78) 664-2954 • Tel/Fax: 664-2953•Email: san_mateo@email.philrice.gov.ph PhilRice Los Baños UPLB Campus, Los Baños, 4030 Laguna•Tel: (49) 536-3631 to 33•Tel/Fax: 536-3515; -0484•Email: los_banos@email.philrice.gov.ph PhilRice Midsayap Bual Norte, Midsayap, 9410 North Cotabato•Tel: (64) 229-8178 • Tel/Fax: 229-7242•Email: midsayap@email.philrice.gov.ph PhilRice Negros Cansilayan, Murcia, 6129 Negros Occidental•Cell: 0928-506-0515•Email: negros@email.philrice.gov.ph PhilRice Field Office CMU Campus, Maramag, 8714 Bukidnon•Tel/Fax: (88) 222-5744

Harmonizing the Symphony of Rice Self-Sufficiency
Rice sufficiency is perhaps akin to beautiful music produced by a symphony orchestra or a string quartet; it requires the collective and passionate talents and skills of many musicians to create an aural masterpiece. Though each musician plays a different instrument, they all meld and blend the notes they play to complement one another. As a country whose prime industry is agriculturally based, the Philippine government sees the need to strengthen this food production sector by enacting legislations and strategies to help farmers. Better-yielding varieties, small farm machines that can ease the drudgery of farm chores, and farm management approaches are introduced, to name a few. A more conducive policy environment is even engendered. PhilRice, being the government’s spearhead in breeding improved rice varieties, is now likewise developing rice varieties for adverse ecosystems and conditions, particularly rainfed areas, to improve yield. Non-irrigated areas have the potential to contribute total rice production. The Institute is also beefing up its efforts in providing technologies through location specific technology development approach whereby rice sufficiency officers are being deployed nationwide to address yield constraints. Where yield levels could bounce up, why should they remain down? We need to be rice-sufficient now It would be easy to count Filipinos who do not consume rice. It is our main staple. A kitchen without rice is a kitchen without love. It dictates politics. It makes politicians hearts beat fast and hard. It is part of our culture and heritage. Its importance and impact cannot be measured during shortage crises or abrupt price increases. Yet some argue that government need not put precedence on attaining rice sufficiency. Dr. Sergio Francisco, PhilRice economist and scientist, believes otherwise. He insists that the world market is too thin and highly

concentrated to pin our hopes of food security on. He explains data from USDA reveal that from 2000 to 2008, the difference between world export supply and world import demand hovered at only around 1-2million metric tons. This indicates that the world market stock is too thin, making world prices vulnerable to small supply and demand shocks. We felt the pain of this shock in 2008 when world prices of rice shot up without much warming. We may have the money to spend but have nothing to buy, to the extent of being suspected by other importing countries as the trigger to higher world rice prices. PhilRice agri-economist Flordeliza Bordey emphasizes that 85% of the world export supply is concentrated in only six countries and these could behave like a cartel. It is a known fact now that exporting countries restrict trade whenever the international market becomes highly volatile. This all points out that we need to be self-sufficient. It is not to remain at the mercy of rice exporters. This issue of PhilRice’s S&T magazine features stories pertaining to rice self-sufficiency and the various efforts PhilRice is doing toward attaining this goal. May the stories inspire.

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PhilRice to help energize rice production in Africa, unfavorable lands in RP
rice development strategies by identifying Philippine-adapted farm practices and technologies that may be applied in African countries. Meanwhile, Beronio urged R&D workers to strengthen Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE) activities in the country after coming back from a CURE meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia, May 2-6. “We should be involved more actively than before to better inspire rice production in unfavorable conditions. We have to develop applicable technologies for upland and rainfed ecosystems and monitor them,” Beronio said. He contends that rice researches and activities should address climate change that creates more unfavorable environments. In the CURE meeting, Beronio underscored that the first strategy PhilRice should take to adapt to climate change is variety development. Purified materials from popular varieties, such as Dinorado that is widely planted in parts of Mindanao, should be developed. Dr. Edwin Hondrade, one of the study leaders of the CURE site in Southern Mindanao, said they are preserving Dinorado and Azucena in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato and are also introducing modern varieties for farmers to choose from. His wife, Rosa Fe, who is also one of the study leaders, said Arakan Valley farmers are very active in organizing themselves into the Arakan Community Seed Bank Organization. They were taught, she said, about crop diversification, planting of modern high-yielding varieties, and the Palayamanan way of life. To be congruent to PhilRice’s goal of reducing malnutrition incidence, Beronio plans to address rice production problems in the uplands where indigenous peoples live. “NGO reports say these indigenous peoples are issued ancestral domain titles. It’s good then that we consider helping them till their lands and get good harvests despite their unfavorable conditions,” Beronio said. Good harvests will bring plenty of

Atty. Ronilo A. Beronio and heads of rice research institutes of ten asian countries met at Siem Reap, Cambodia to talk about strategies to help boost rice production in unfavorable rice environments.

Executive Director Ronilo Beronio has endorsed PhilRice’s Location-Specific Technology Development (LSTD) program as a path to help improve rice production in Africa during the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, May 18-19. “In the meeting, capacity-building

was seen as one of the means to improve rice production. I shared our experiences in implementing LSTD and they are interested to carry out a similar program in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA),” Beronio said. To further help SSA, PhilRice, the African Rice Center, and IRRI will craft

New DA chief to focus on product marketing
President Benigno Aquino III has directed Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala to set up trading centers that will directly link farmers and consumers. In his inaugural speech, Aquino said the centers are expected to provide farmers a conducive area to sell their produce at a profitable price. Aquino explained that the trading centers will eventually do away with middlemen. Much of the profits that middlemen normally pocket can benefit farmers and consumers instead. Aside from increasing farmers’ income by making the marketing system more efficient, Alcala hopes the Philippines will no longer have to import rice in three years’ time. The country has imported 2.45 million tons of rice for 2010, but productivity will be boosted to lessen imports. In crafting fresh policies and programs of his Department, Alcala said he needs to first consult with various stakeholders such as farmers and fishermen to ensure that the programs will be acceptable and beneficial to them. Alcala, now 55, was a two-termer representative of the Second District of Quezon. He is one of the principal authors of Republic Act 10068, or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010. He is a lifetime member of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers. [Hanah Hazel Mavi M. Biag]



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Funded by European Union, Tarlac farmers receive training kits, learning materials, seeds for varietal trial, and water pumps during the inauguration of two farmers’ field school.

Nowadays, an irrigation system can come in a small package. This year, the European Union (EU) will give leverage to some 3,600 rainfed rice farmers in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, and Pangasinan through the promotion of small-scale irrigation systems (SSIS). The project Increasing Rice Yield and Productivity through the Promotion of Small-Scale Irrigation and Integrated Crop Management Systems in Rainfed Areas seeks to improve production of rice and other crops in rainfed areas. It is implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the DA through PhilRice, BSWM, ATI, and LGUs.

EU project focuses on small-scale irrigation
try’s overall rice production. However, yield is only at 2.93 metric tons (mt) per hectare, compared with 4.21 mt in irrigated areas. Dependency on climate and rainfall is one of the reasons for the low productivity. To address this concern, the project will use either shallow tube wells (STW) or surface water pumps (SWP) to get irrigation water. A FAO study in 2006 of STW irrigation development found that around 2.4 million hectares of rainfed lands in the Philippines have STW potential. “The target is to install 1,200 pump CURE steering committee which IRRI coordinates. CURE comprises 26 national agricultural research and extension systems based in the ten countries, and aims to benefit 100 million poor farm households in Asia who are dependent on rice and living in food insecurity-stricken areas. It has four work groups: drought-prone rainfed lowlands; saline-prone environments; submergence-prone rainfed lowlands; and shifting or rotational upland systems. [Ella Lois T. Bestil] sets until June 2011,” said project leader Dr. Eulito U. Bautista. Drilling for the pump sets has started in Bulacan while the engineering team is going around to identify local drillers for the other provinces.

SSIS farmer field school

SSIS for rainfed rice areas

Rice production in rainfed areas contributes about one-fourth of the counfood to their kitchens, he added. IRRI, University of Southern Mindanao in North Cotabato where the Honrade couple is based, and PhilRice started working jointly in Arakan Valley in 1993, followed by the creation of the Upland Rice Research Consortium in 1998, and recently, CURE. The meeting of CURE in Cambodia was attended by heads of rice research institutes in ten countries: Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, and the Philippines. They compose the

The one-year project also includes an SSIS-farmer field school (SSIS-FFS) to identify location-specific technologies and develop farmers’ ability to make informed decisions in various aspects of rice production and SSIS maintenance. According to Maria Eda Apple A. Suplido, FFS specialist, 145 sites have been identified for the project. In May, PhilRice deployed 39 rice sufficiency officers, complemented by agricultural extension workers from various local government units to lead the SSIS-FFS. The SSIS-FFS follows a special curriculum incorporating PalayCheck and SSIS for wet season and Palayamanan and SSIS for dry season. PhilRice developed the SSIS-FFS curriculum earlier this year with FAO Representative Takayuki Hagiwara. The Bureau of Soils and Water Management also contributed to the curriculum. [Mary Grace V. Lanuza]

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Aurora e-village Text Center soon to operate
Aurora folks will soon enjoy the convenience of their very own agricultural Text Center. PhilRice has provided an online database that will serve as the Text Center platform of the Aurora e-village project. Like the PhilRice Text Center, it can receive and send messages through short messaging service (SMS). With their mobile phones, farmers are connected and informed of the demands and prices in markets where they can sell their produce. They can also easily ask for assistance from agricultural agencies in developing possible products for different markets. The Aurora Text Center will also serve as a reliable information source for other sectors interested in Aurora industries. Stakeholders can send their queries or concerns to 391-4400 for Smart and Talk ‘n Text subscribers. Subscribers of other networks may use 0908-8968278. Aurora e-village adopts the text center concept to provide Aurora farmers and extension workers with fast and low-cost means by which they can reach agencies regarding their concerns on farming and other livelihood pursuits. Aside from providing the online platform, PhilRiceOPAPA shall also conduct trainings for possible text agents from different col-

Atty. Ronilo A. Beronio turns over computer units to Aurora farmers to enable an online database that will serve as the Text Center platform.

laborating agencies such as Phil-Korea Rice Processing Complex, Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), and the Provincial Government of Aurora. Aurora e-village aims to integrate ICT in rural communities to increase agricultural productivity. Aurora e-village Phase I has established access points with computers, and internet kiosks and connectivity in 15 barangays of Baler, Maria Aurora, San Luis and Dipaculao towns. This set-up allows improved access to need-based information sources that

will keep them abreast with the latest technologies and markets. Access points in Casiguran and Dingalan towns will also be established during the project’s Phase II. Aurora e-village was made possible thru the collaboration of DA-PhilRice, DA-Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), and DAP. The project was conceived through the initiative and support of Senator Edgardo J. Angara, a son of Aurora, and founding father of PhilRice. [Jezereel Louise C. Billano] on quality of seed of different rice variety in the Philippines”. In the 60th Annual Convention and 8th International Convention of the Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers on April 21-23, Engr. Eden Gagelonia, head of the Rice Engineering and Mechanization Division, won first place with her poster “Improvement of the Precision Seeder for Lowland Rice Seed Production”. During the annual conference of the Philippine Society of Soil Science and Technology, Inc. (PSSST) held May 2728 at the Legend Hotel, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, the paper, Plastic root system development responses to drought enhance water and nutrient uptake in rice, by Dr. Roel Suralta won third place in the senior researcher category. Rice Sufficiency Officer Jayvee Cruz also won the best paper award in the junior category with his work Auxin production, growth, survival, and ef-

Science confabs affirm talents of PhilRice researchers
PhilRice takes pride in its researchers who collected awards in recent scientific competition and conferences. In the National Science and Technology (NAST) Week, July 19-20, sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology and the NAST, Dr. Eulito Bautista and Dr. Victoria Lapitan were given the Gregorio Y. Zara and Eduardo A. Quisumbing award, respectively. Bautista was recognized for his efforts in commercializing the drumseeder while Lapitan for her research paper titled, Mapping of Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) Using Doubled-haploid Population from the Cross of Indica and Japonica Cultivars of Rice. Dr. Roel Suralta was also conferred the 2010 Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) award from NAST during the organization’s 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting at Manila Hotel, July 15. Suralta was awarded one of the ten OYS in the country for his extensive research on root plasticity in maintaining dry matter production of rice under fluctuating soil moistures. For NAST Best Scientific Poster award, Dr. Evelyn Gergon and John Eric Abon bagged 1st place in the Engineering Sciences and Technology category with their poster titled “Effect of the hermetic storage, saclob, and superbag



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Farmers in Tarlac, for a long time, had tilled their lands without enough knowledge in identifying suitability of rice varieties, nutrient application, and water and pest management. To equip them with site-specific farming technologies and to help them improve yields, Farmers’ Field Schools (FFS) were introduced in La Paz and Victoria towns on June 15. The FFS is an extension approach developed by FAO. The FFS sites in Tarlac are two of the 150 FFS centers in five provinces taking part in the project funded by the European Union (EU), and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations with the DA and local government units (LGU) participating. FFS were put up to enhance the knowledge and skills of rainfed farmers by catering to site-specific requirements. Its curriculum includes integrated crop management (ICM), water-saving technologies, and operation and maintenance of pump sets. The project aims to increase rice yield and productivity in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Pampanga, and Tarlac through the promotion of ICM and SmallScale Irrigation System (SSIS) which uses surface water pumps, shallow tube wells, and small farm reservoirs as sources of irrigation water. Like the other 32 municipalities covered by the project, La Paz and Victoria produce rice crops only during the wet fectiveness of plant growth-promoting bacteria inoculants in three soils. Meanwhile, the poster Carbonized rice hull: an environment-friendly carrier component of Rhizobium inoculants presented by Julie Elijay won second place. Dr. Constancio Asis and Josephine Dela Cruz co-authored the poster. The Development Communication Division bagged the awards for Agricultural Magazine and Radio Program of the Year from the Philippine Agricultural Journalists (PAJ) during its 33rd anniversary held April 16 at the DA-Bureau of Soils and Water Management in Diliman, Quezon City. Several researchers also excelled during the 40th conference of the Crop Science Society of the Philippines (CSSP) held March 19-20 in Davao City. Dr. Nenita Desamero was conferred the 2010 CSSP Achievement Award in Research for her “significant contribu-

Rainfed rice farmers in Tarlac to produce more rice

FAO’s Dr. Eulito U. Bautista (right most), along with some government officials and representatives from the European Union, presents to farmers the water pump given to them in the FFS inauguration in Victoria, Tarlac, June 15.
season. They merely rely on rainfall, which limits their production to less than 2.9 t/ha. The project aims at a one-ton yield increase or higher. FAO and EU gave SSIS to Tarlac farmers, which is 50 percent subsidized, so they can produce rice or vegetables even during dry season, in addition to the trainings and supervision by the Rice tions to the advancement of crop science research, focusing on Philippine rice.” The society cited Desamero for generating improved doubled haploid lines of breeding materials through anther culture. The materials are used for developing hybrid rice, rice for irrigated and drought-prone rainfed lowlands, and saline-prone areas. Meanwhile, Dr. Riza Ramos garnered the best paper award in the upstream research category. Her study, Folate profiling in rice, showed that overexpression of rice folylpolyglutamate synthetase genes enhances folate concentration in the rice grain. Folate, one of the B vitamins for normal human growth and development, is also needed for rice seed development. In the extension and education category, Stoix Nebin Pascua won the best paper award for his entry Enhancing knowledge networking through Short Sufficiency Officers (RSOs) and the LGU technicians on ICM. The farmers participating in the FFS in Tarlac have assured DA, FAO, and EU that they will take active part in the rice self-sufficiency program of the Philippine government by sharing with their cofarmers the knowledge that they gain in the training. [Precious Glenn G. Antalan] Messaging Service: The farmers’ text center experience. Data in his study point to the “great potential of [cellphone]” in promoting modern farming technologies despite geographical barriers. Pascua’s co-authors are Ronan Zagado, Olive Rose Asis, Oliver Domingo, and Jennylene Maloles. Besting about 40 entries in the upstream category, Maribel Mananguit, Rosaly Manaois, and Dr. Marissa Romero emerged winners in the poster competition. Their study, There is more to rice than starch: Exploring the phytonutrient content of the Philippine pigmented rice, concluded that pigmented rice, especially Ballatinao and Calatrava, are excellent sources of anthocyanin and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that could help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. [Charisma Love B. Gado]

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Increasing trend
Marc Elvin T. Lozano

Hope in rainfed areas


nsuring availability and accessibility of rice for 100 million Filipinos means increasing palay production from 16.2 million metric tons in 2007 to 21.6 MMT in 2013.
With hopes slowly diminishing and doubts and skepticism rising, is attaining rice self-sufficiency (RSS) in the Philippines a realistic goal? Or is it just a motivation, a challenge for agricultural R&D to keep striving harder? Statistics says that 33% of the total physical rice area in the country is rainfed. It contributes 26% to total rice production, with the rest coming from irrigated. Unassailably, production in rainfed areas is more unpredictable. Risks, like drought and flood, are more likely to steal yields in these areas. Given this rainfed scenario, how can high optimism toward RSS in the country be achieved and nurtured? Is it plausible then to also pin hopes on rainfed areas? 6

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It is possible

Dr. Sergio Francisco, PhilRice production economist, contends that the rainfed area in the country has the potentials to help attain RSS. He emphasizes that increasing yields in a more vulnerable environment has big impact. “The yield gap between irrigated and rainfed fields is narrowing. Increasing productivity despite being vulnerable to different uncontrollable factors like typhoons and drought, the rainfed area can make a big favorable impact on total rice production,” Francisco said.

Data show that yield levels in rainfed areas are the potential keys to attaining and sustaining RSS. Yields in irrigated farms had been consistently increasing but yields in rainfed areas have yet to stabilize.
From 1990-2009, however, the rainfed ecosystem has been the major source of growth in rice production, growing by more than 800,000 mt. Though the rainfed area in those years expanded by only 36,000 ha, productivity increased from 2.07 to 2.64 t/ ha. In 2000, the rainfed area started having good yields, with total production increasing by more than 11 % from 2005-2009. “Several factors have narrowed the gap in production outputs between irrigated and rainfed. We experienced good weather from 2001-2007. Some farmers could have received subsidies like quality seeds, and learned good crop management skills through the GMA-rice program. These, among other developments, may have contributed to increased productivity in the rainfed”, Francisco said as he explained the rainfed potentials. With the combined effects of typhoons Pepeng and Ondoy in 2009, and drought in early 2010, total rice production evidently decreased. In provinces not so much affected by these calamities, a rainfed farmer testifies: “We were not aware before

During a consultation workshop about optimizing rice production in rainfed environments, Dr. Sergio Francisco reveals to other rice researchers the rainfed potentials in helping the country attain rice self-sufficiency.

what kind of variety to use. Now, we are using PSB Rc18 and Rc122 as suggested by the rice sufficiency officer in our area. From a 1.6 to 2.6 t/ha harvest, that’s big and I know I can still increase this”, Diolito Bautista, 49, of San Agustin, Romblon, said.

coming seasons and strategize farming management approaches that can be done given the quarterly climate scenario,” Dr. Eduardo Jimmy Quilang, PhilRice climate change program leader, said.

Timing: taming the uncontrollable

PhilRice helps mitigate problems attendant to rainfed areas by developing drought and submergence-tolerant rice varieties. The climate change program also looks closely into the weather pattern so that farmers can adjust their cropping calendar to minimize, if not escape, the risks and uncertainties in farming. In line with the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change, PhilRice is planning to set high priority on this concern. “In collaboration with PAGASA, we are enhancing Seasonal Climate Forecasts that can be used by our farmers. It is a climate outlook that will help farmers plan their planting dates, decide on the varieties suited for the

Localizing technologies, training farmers, disseminating information, and employing different approaches are being done to achieve the goal of having a rice importfree country. Erratic as they were before, yields in rainfed conditions are slowly measuring up with the yields in the irrigated setting.
In the most challenging ecosystems, increasing yields means beating the most difficult farming problems. With the increasing trend of rice productivity in rainfed areas, one right path to attaining rice self-sufficiency is now here and is certainly navigable.

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uperheroes come in different ways. Some of them you see on TV. They can also be ordinary people with extraordinary characters, like the Rice Sufficiency Officers (RSOs) of PhilRice.
Since late 2008, PhilRice, through its Technology Management and Services Division (TMSD), has handled 177 agriculture graduates in batches for the four-month training course on PalayCheck System, a

Ma. Adrielle D. Solsoloy

package of technologies and practices for improved rice yield, and on Palayamanan, a diversified rice farming system. Finishers of the intensive season-long training have qualified as RSO. PhilRice has deployed125 of them nationwide to help the country achieve rice self-sufficiency through the Location-Specific Technology Development (LSTD) program. Oftentimes, we see or hear of farmers as being the bida of success stories in farming, but the people behind their success were most of the time unrecognized. They had been songs sung blue, so to speak. This is in recognition of RSOs.

The ‘Little Biggie’

Evergilio Aquino was deployed in Bulacan in June 2009 and is currently handling six sites: Barangays Bubulong Malaki, Sapang Putik, and Basuit in San Ildefonso; and Lalangan, San Jose, and Bulihan in Plaridel. He is a young man with big ideas encapsulated in a 5’3” physical frame. He smiles and talks in a discreet manner, but has certainly created a big impact in the farming communities where he is deployed. Aquino hails from Baloc, Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija, with a BS Ag-

Real Superheroes in the Outskirts



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riculture major in Plant Pathology from Central Luzon State University. Overcoming challenges, weaknesses. “At first, it was not easy. I am a silent-type kind of a person but after my visits to them, having small talks with them, and even staying in their homes, I eventually gained their trust,” Aquino said referring to his farmerclients.

Dealing with different people with seemless personalities, Aquino asserts, was really a tough job. Never-theless, he learned how to deal with them by applying what he terms as the 5Ps which are pakikisama, pagsasama, pag-aaral, pananaliksik, and pagpapa-laganap.
As RSO, he developed his selfconfidence, “dahil kung wala ka nuon, makikita at mararamdaman agad ng farmer iyon, mawawala ang tiwala nila sa iyo at hindi mo na sila mapaniniwala sa sinasabi mo (because if you don’t have it, the farmers will readily detect, they will lose confidence in you, and you’ll fail to convince them on what you are saying),” he said. Impact on the farming community. Barangay Captain Reynaldo Victoria of Bubulong Malaki said that the last time he and many farmers in the community attended a farmers’ field school (FFS) was in 1990. Since then, there was no change in their farming system and their yield never increased, lamenting it as “kung ano lang ang nakagisnan, yun na yun (what we had from birth, that’s it).” Aquino’s farmer-clients confided that they appreciate the fact that they have learned to use certified seeds. Before, they never imagined that using certified seeds of the right variety would up their yield. One of them noted, “What we cannot forget about what Ever Aquino has taught us was that, hindi kailangan ang agarang pagtaas ng ani (high yield may not come immediately). What really matters is that we learned the

technology and applied it in our farms. He assured us that in due time we will increase our yield significantly.” And they did. “Kap Victoria” claimed that from 2009 wet season until the summer of 2010 when Aquino worked in their place, they achieved 10 to12% more yield. “Hindi mahirap pakisamahan si Ever kaya nga kinuha pa siyang maging ninong dito sa amin (He is not a difficult person, in fact, he’s now as a godfather in baptism here),” Arnold and Normita Galvez, Aquino’s guardian said. Aquino’s frequent field visits even beyond his working hours were ap-

Mindanao University, Bukidnon. He had worked in a LGU, then managed a poultry farm, even worked at Jollibee. He uttered, “as an RSO, it is my first time to really apply what I’ve learned in college and it makes me feel so fulfilled.” Rivas started in Davao del Norte but was transferred to Compostela Valley (ComVal) in October 2009 to initiate and lead the LSTD program. His area includes Barangays Linoan and Bangkerohan Sur in Montevista, Libasan in Nabunturan, Dalisay in Mawab, and Salvacion in Monkayo. Strategies. “Always talk with your collaborators and involve them in all

RSO Ever Aquino explains to his farmers the Agro Ecosystem Analysis, a thorough analysis of the field environment.

preciated. He is characterized as a dedicated, determined, and down-toearth person making him very “patok” (popular) in the community.

activities,” Rivas emphasized. “This should be the first thing to do,” he added.

The ‘Network Builder’

A single stick cannot sweep scattered leaves in the backyard; a bundle of them will do better. This mindset helps applies in implementing a project. To make it a success, it should be done with the support of concerned people and the community. This is where RSO Sharen Rivas, 30, is good at. He has a BSA degree, major in Agronomy from Central

It is important, he says, that those who can implement and sustain significant changes have a ‘say’ in the project since they know the place and the people well.
Thus, Rivas endeavored to make the heads or representatives of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Municipal

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Agriculture Office, DA – Regional Field Unit 11, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Department of Agrarian Reform, and National Irrigation Administration meet and discuss what to do. “He was able to establish strong collaboration with us that made us agree in involving our personnel, helping out in shouldering travel expenses of our staff involved in the project, coming out with some project materials, and other means of financial support,” said Dr. Rolando Semine, Provincial Agriculturist of ComVal. Rivas stated that being an RSO does not begin and end in just educating the farmers. It is also sharing your life with them. said. ComVal farmers are not only into rice farming, which made him understand the situation even more. “We believe in what maestro (Rivas) is teaching us. Though we didn’t make good, we know that what we learned from him can still be applied in the next cropping seasons,” they said. They learned about split application of fertilizers, proper land preparation, and the minus-one element technique. and the LSTD program here helped us identify what technology is appropriate for our place.” Minda Agarano, Chief of Crops Division, and Fernando Palsario, Provincial Rice Coordinator, both from OPAG ComVal, added, “Our extension services were generally on the basics only and so we really cannot readily address all the problems of our farmers in the field. That was the usual case

“Having good relationships with the farmers should also be taken into consideration. We are here because of them, to serve them, and help them achieve the rice self-sufficiency goal. If they succeed, it will also mean that we have fulfilled our mission,” he added.
Moreover, Rivas said that it is important to teach farmers in a creative and innovative manner. He does informal one-and-a-half-hour discussions, with jokes, involvement, and chikahan (banter) where they can share their experiences too. “I empathize with them and try to understand their needs because what matters is that they will learn something from me,” Rivas added. Conquering ComVal. In Davao del Norte, Rivas was able to involve more or less 30 participants in his FFS. In ComVal, however, only an average of 16 participants per site stayed put with the program. “What went wrong? Then I realized that in life there are unforeseen circumstances and you have to be prepared to deal with them. I see these obstacles in quality not in quantity,” he 10

RSO Sharen Rivas teaches farmers the Minus-one Element Kit, a simple diagnostic tool to asses nutrient deficiencies in rice fields

They also admired how dedicated Rivas is, that even on Christmas break he didn’t go home just to establish the varietal trial in their area on time. “Being away from my family was really tiring. But being an RSO means sacrificing a lot if you really want to achieve something,” Rivas said. Rivas is from Kitaotao, Bukidnon, an eight-hour bus ride from his workplace. Stand-out in the crowd. Ofelia Tomada, Municipal Agriculturist of Nabunturan, attested: “Having Sharen

until Sharen came and he was able to reach out to our farmers especially those in the far-flung areas.” High hopes. “Rice sufficiency will be possible, only if we believe in it,” Rivas said. “Kung business lang ang pagiging RSO mayaman na siguro ako ngayon (If being an RSO were a business, probably I am already rich).” “Everyday, even during holidays, and also in my dreams, I think and deal with rice,” he jokingly added. These RSOs are no longer unknown soldiers.


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olando Varila of Rajal, Balungao, Pangasinan cannot forget the naughtiness of his fellow farmers who stole fuel from his generator during the recent onslaught of the El Niño phenomenon. He has forgiven them, though.
“I was sad but I think they couldn’t help resorting to it because of the high cost of fuel,” Varila said in Filipino. However, farmers like Varila, who are at the tail-end of an irrigation system, could now heave a sigh of relief with the green-colored rice hull gasifier-engine pump system. The PhilRice engineering

group, in collaboration with Japan’s New Energy Development Organization, developed the machine. The technology, which gasifies rice hull to be used as energy source in running pumps, helps farmers save 52 to 67% in fuel cost. In irrigating crops through an engine-powered pump, farmers shell out 15 to 24% of their total production expenses during the dry season and 2 to 12% for the wet season. During the past El Niño phenomenon, farmers in rainfed areas spent about P7,000 a week for supplemental irrigation. For cropping seasons under good weather condition, farmers spend only about P500 a week. “The country struggles with changes in fuel prices every now and then because 70 percent of our total energy mix is attributed to imported energy,” said Engr. Arnold Juliano, the main

proponent of the technology. Juliano, who also worked with Joel Ramos and Leo Molinawe, said gasification of a ton of rice hull is equivalent to around 384 liters of fossil fuel. “If we reduce the figure, a kilo of rice hull can produce 2,304 liters of water in eight minutes with a maintaining speed of 1,600 rpm,” he said. The machine, which uses a 6.5HP gasoline engine, can be operated for two hours using 6 to 9 kg of rice hull per load to the combustor. During the operation, the rice hull is carbonized, which after unloading from the machine, can be used as substrate to organic fertilizer, soil conditioner, water purifier or waste water filter, pest control agent, and deodorizer. With the rice hull-powered

Charisma Love B. Gado


brings hope to farmers
gasifier, pumping a cubic meter of water costs only about P1.00, while a petrol engine would need more than P2.00 a cubic meter. The green machine does not only stir hope among farmers, but also for the country’s future. Considered waste after milling, rice hull is generally dumped and burned in the open field posing hazards to people and the environment. When burned, rice hull emits unfiltered smoke such as carbon dioxide and monoxide, and other gases that do not only worsen global warming but also cause health problems. “So when we convert this waste into energy, we do not only bring about savings for farmers but we also reduce environment hazards,” Juliano concluded.

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July-September 2010


ropical Pacific where the Philippines is situated is in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral condition. Sea surface temperatures have been decreasing since June across much of the Pacific Ocean and have recently become belowaverage in portions of the eastern half of the basin. All international climate prediction centers agree on the possibility of La Niña condition within this year with increasing probability toward the end of the year. The weather systems that may affect the country from July-September 2010 are the southwest monsoon, Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), tropical cyclone, monsoon trough, and ridge of high pressure area (HPA). Seasonal rainfall forecast for Jul-Aug-Sep (JAS) will likely be near to above normal over the entire country. In terms of rainfall amount (mm) during the JAS season, the western portion of the country will receive more rains (more than 500 mm), indicative of the peak southwest monsoon season. Above normal rainfall will be experienced in western portions of Luzon, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros, Cebu, Zamboanga, Davao, Basilan, and Sulu. Tropical cyclones (TC) are expected to form or enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on July 2-3, August 2-3, and September 3-4.

ENSO forecast as of June 2010 by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society
July Above normal rainfall condition will be experienced in some areas in Abra, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Batangas, Palawan, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Guimaras, Cebu, Negros, Eastern and Northern Samar, Basilan, Sulu. Provinces in Region XI (Davao) and Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN) will also receive above normal rainfall. The rest of the country will have near normal rainfall condition. August Above normal rainfall condition will be experienced in some areas in Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Cavite, Rizal, Occidental and Oriental Mindoro, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros, Cebu, Zamboanga del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Basilan, and Sulu. The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Central Luzon (except Bulacan and Aurora) will also experience above normal rainfall. Below normal rainfall will be experienced in Agusan del Norte while the rest of the country will receive near normal rainfall. September Above normal rainfall condition will be experienced in Ilocos Norte, Aklan, Capiz, Negros, Cebu, Sulu, Lanao del Norte, and CAR provinces, Region II (Cagayan Valley) except Batanes and Aurora, Region IV-A (CALABARZON) except Rizal, Region IV-B (MIMAROPA), Region V (Bicol), Region VIII (Eastern Visayas), Region XI, Region XII, and Region XIII (Caraga). The rest of the country will receive near normal rainfall.

Agricultural Tips:
Plant submergence-tolerant rice varieties, such as NSIC Rc194 (Submarino), in areas that will be possibly flooded for a maximum of 10 days. The timing of planting is very critical because the 10-day flooding must occur only during vegetative stage. Farm drainage should be fixed and maintained in anticipation of heavy rains. Communities, especially flood-prone areas, are advised to always stay tuned to PAGASA daily weather forecasts and dam status reports, especially during severe weather events like typhoons. For more information, contact: PhilRice Agromet Network (PhilAgromet) Tel/Fax: +44-456-0285/0113 loc 212 Email : ejpquilang@email.philrice.gov.ph



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Extra rice,
Christina A. Frediles

ease pl


ome popular restaurants and fastfood centers offer unlimited rice to customers as come-on. This is not surprising because these food businesses know that Filipinos love to devour rice. The puzzle, however, is: If we really love rice, why do we always have rice leftovers on our plates?
According to the Philippine Rice Self- Sufficiency Master Plan 20092013, some 1.25 million kilograms or 25,000 cavans of milled rice, are put into waste or thrown away everyday. Most of these, though, feed households pets or poultry and livestock. “If we learn to save rice, our daily wastage can feed some 3.8 million hungry Filipinos in a day,” PhilRice Executive Director Ronilo Beronio said. “We can save US $319 million a year from rice imports,” he estimated.

Dining at fastfood outlets

For customers who want to eat less rice, fastfoods like Jollibee and Chowking now offers half rice.

“Yung ibang customers kasi ay takaw-tingin. Mag-oorder ng extra rice tapos kaunti lang pala ang uubusin (Some customers have false appetites. They order extra rice that they can’t finish),” said Enrico De Guzman, Manager of the Chowking outlet in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija where an average of 5.5 kilos of rice are wasted daily. Chowking-San Jose, which started operating in August 2004, cooks 25 kilos of rice during weekdays and 50 kilos during weekends. On the other hand, adjacent Jollibee-San Jose uses 3.5 sacks of rice (87.5 kg) during weekdays and 4 sacks (100 kg) on weekends. Rice

wastage is not significant, thanks. “Ang natitira sa’min kadalasan ay tutong lang (What is left is just burnt rice),” Jenalyn Dumlao, Manager of Jollibee, said. “Tinatantya rin kasi namin ang pasok ng tao para hindi maaksaya ang pagluluto. Ang paraang ito ay tinatawag naming madalas na pagluluto ng kaunti, (We figure out the number of our customers so rice will not be wastefed. We call this cooking less, but often),” she added. Chowking and Jollibee now serve half of their regular rice order. This initiative started in November 2008

targeting customers who manage to eat less rice.

What we can do

Every Filipino wastes an average of one spoonful of cooked rice every day. This can be reduced if children are taught at an early age not to mishandle rice. “We should not put too much rice on our plates. If I want more, then I add,” said Aaron Grospe, Grade VI pupil in one nearby elementary school. “As Moms, we should teach our kids to consume all the rice on their plates. First, we have to see that not



JULY-SEPTEMBER 2010, Vol. 23 No. 3

you get” is an old-fashioned advisory in certain eat-all-you-can food establishments. This can also work as a rice-saving tip.

Rice conservation on-farm

too much rice is dumped on their plates. They will tell us if they want more,” said Aaron’s Mom. “Also, if we cook too much rice, we end up feeding our or our neighbor’s pets and the pests at home, or throwing the spoiled rice in the garbage,” she added. Other tips include not over washing rice before cooking to cut wastage and control loss of nutrients. Rice that is cooked too soft or too hard, will spoil the appetite. Thus, right amount of water in cooking is important. Also, avoid overcooking rice (unless burnt rice is preferred to right-cooked rice.) “Get what you want, but eat what

Improper harvest and postharvest activities can lead up to 15% yield loss or even more. This means that farmers can lose up to 15 cavans from every 100 cavans of palay harvest. At P17/ kilo buying price, this is losing P12,750 per 100 cavans harvest. Rice experts recommend harvesting when 15% of the grains at the base of the panicle are in hard dough stage or when 85% of all grains are golden yellow. Harvesting and threshing on time ensure good grain quality, consumers’ acceptance, and high market value. Early harvesting results in more immature grains and lower milling recovery. Late harvesting, on the other hand, worsens grain shattering and breaks grains during milling. Also, to prevent discoloration, it is important to thresh the palay not later than a day after harvesting. In drying harvest, farmers are advised to use flatbed dryers that can dry 6 tons of paddy rice in one operation through their rice hull biomass furnace. Moreover, moisture content of the grains is reduced by 1.5 to 2.0% per hour. Proper drying lessens the risk of spoilage, prevents insect attack, and precludes grain discoloration caused by grain heating.

“If we learn to save rice, our daily wastage can feed some 3.8 million hungry Filipinos in a day. We can save US $319 million a year from rice imports”

Atty. Ronilo Beronio PhilRice Executive Director

From saving to sufficiency

Many big things start from small things. It is a fact that we have to crawl before we can walk. The dream of attaining rice self-sufficiency cannot be achieved at once. It will help in attaining this dream to start right in every home. After all, everyone must be responsible in saving rice.

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Alin nga ba ang mas mainam na pataba: ang purong organiko, purong inorganiko, o pareho? Ang sagot, pareho! Bitin kung isa lang ang piliin.
Base sa mga pag-aaral ng PhilRice na sumisiyasat sa epekto ng pataba sa lupa at ani, ang paggamit ng kombinasyong organiko at inorganikong pataba pa rin ang siyang pinakamainam. Hango sa mga datus, hindi sapat ang paggamit ng organikong pataba sa pagkamit ng mataas na ani ng palay. Una, napakababa ang taglay na nitroheno, posporo, at potasyo ng organikong pataba (1-3%). Ikalawa, ang nitrohenong taglay ng organikong pataba ay naobserbahang bumaba mula sa ika-28 araw pagkatapos magtanim. Ito ang yugtong kailangang-kailangan ng palay ang sustansiyang nitroheno. At panghuli, ang mga paunang sustansiyang galing sa organikong mga bagay na nasa lupa ay kalahati lamang ng kabuuang pangangailangan ng palay. *Babala: Ang pagbili ng komersyal na organikong pataba ay sugal, kumbaga. Ayon sa pag-aaral ng PhilRicemay mga maling analisis ng NPK na itinatatak sa sako. Kaya kung pwede ay kung gumawa na lamang ng sariling organikong pataba mula sa mga nabubulok na bagay sa bukid at sa kusina.


Hindi lahat n ay mapaminsal ang karamihan wang pa ng mg pagtataboy ng i insekto. Kila May 5 kaibigan awang ito. Mab silang lahat?

Alam niyo ba na si Dr. Cezar Mamaril ng PhilRice ang nanguna sa pagdebelop at pagpapakilala sa publiko ng MOET o minus-one element technique?
Ang MOET ay isang simple at murang pamamaraan upang malaman ang kulang na sustansiya ng lupa. Matapos malaman ang mga kulang na sustansiya sa lupa gamit ang MOET kit, mas makatitipid na sa pataba dahil ang kulang na sustansiya na lamang ang kailangang mailagay sa lupa. Gawin ito kada dalawang taon hangga’t maaari. Ang isang pakete ng MOET kit ay mabibili sa halagang P175 lamang sa inyong pinakamalapit na PhilRice Branch Station. Para sa karagdagang impormasyon, mag-text sa PhilRice Text Center 0920-911-1398.



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ng insekto sa bukid la. Kadalasan nga, n sakanila ay katuga magsasaka sa ibang mga pesteng ala mo na ba sila? ng kulisap sa larbibilugan mo ba

Hanapin sa kahon ang mga sumusunod na salita:
















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f she were to write her things-to-do for the day, Purita Red, 50, of Nabua, Camarines Sur would produce quite a long list.

Women power
Ev A. Parac

Aside from her usual day-to-day responsibilities of preparing food, maintaining the house, and nurturing the children, she adds to her list weeding the rice field and borrowing money to buy farm inputs. The list can be longer, depending on the stage of the rice crop. Purita is just one of the estimated 2.3 million Filipino women rice farmers who comprise more than one-third of the total 6 million women generally engaged in agriculture in the country. According to social scientists, the 2.3 M womenfarmers participate in almost all aspects of crop production, performing 40-60% of the farm activities. They are particularly active either as unpaid labor in their own farm or hired labor in other farms in pulling seedlings, transplanting, weeding, and harvesting. Social scientists also point out that many women are their husbands’ partners in making decisions related to selection of planting materials, weeding, fertilizer application, harvesting, and marketing of the produce. In better-off farming households, women hire and pay farm laborers, and supervise them during peak seasons.

Harnessing women power for rice sufficiency

e rise on th
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for rice

As the country runs after rice selfsufficiency, PhilRice is pooling together all resources and efforts from different sectors to help realize the goal. Women play a significant role in this quest. Unfortunately, studies reveal that while much farm labor is performed by women, especially in the upland, rainfed, and Moslem areas, hardly any of these women have undergone training on rice farming. Trainings that specifically cater to women farmers, extension workers, or even young and promising women rice leaders could be the answer. As Dr. Irene Tanzo, rural sociologist and coordinator of PhilRice’s Gender and Development Initiatives (GADi) team, argues “when we educate and inform women on the latest in rice production,

Rice wastage, for instance, is one factor that hampers rice self-sufficiency. According to studies, each member of a Filipino household throws away an estimated spoonful of cooked rice every day. Women, who prepare food and control budget in the home, can be tapped to help decrease the rate of rice wastage in the country.
we improve their capacity for decisionmaking. As the custodian of the household purse, she will be able to decide wisely what rice technology to invest in.” Tanzo adds that if these women are married to rice farmers, they can help decide what best to do to increase their yield and income. If they also know why a rapidly increasing population slows down the attainment of rice self-sufficiency, these women can help their husbands internalize the issue. Thus, they become effective development partners. Rice wastage, for instance, is one factor that hampers rice self-sufficiency. According to studies, each member of a Filipino household throws away an estimated spoonful of cooked rice every day. Women, who prepare food and control budget in the home, can be tapped to help decrease the rate of rice wastage in the country. Women have also been found to perform pest management activities. As the immediate nurse or doctor when somebody is sick at home, they could be effective partners in promoting integrated pest management, especially on the judicious use of pesticides. This way, they will not only preclude health risks for the family, but also decrease the cost of farm inputs.

Women farmers in Bulacan harvest rice in their field for they participate in all phases of farming activities.
formed in 1997 to set the directions on gender R&D as well as incorporate gender concerns in its administrative activities. “By mainstreaming gender, we inform and empower women rice farmers, thereby improving their well-being,” Tanzo explains. A major strategy for PhilRice is the creation of a database to fully capture women’s farm contributions in major rice and rice-based farming systems. The database is a compilation of literatures in gender in agriculture which currently has around 202 entries. “This database is essential in guiding PhilRice on the kind of information, training, technologies, and policies to develop to empower farm women and improve their lot,” Tanzo said. In terms of rice research, PhilRice develops rice technologies appropriate for women rice farmers. The rice flour mill, Maligaya rice hull stove, micromill, and microtiller are a few of these technologies. On this, Tanzo adds, “We make sure that PhilRice technologies are also friendly to women.” PhilRice also supports undergraduate students conducting theses on genderrelated issues. Through the GAD team, it conducts need-based training to capacitate women on rice and rice-related ventures, such as the rice wine standardization training for Ifugao women and men. In the Institute’s regular trainings, women are encouraged to participate. In fact, 42% of its trainees from 2006 to early 2010 are women. Women also comprise almost 40% of the total number of farmer-participants in the Farmer Field Schools conducted in the 2009 dry season under the Institute’s Location-Specific Technology Development program. Women are also trained on integrated pest management through PhilRice’s IPM Collaborative Research Support Project. With their active participation in the farm and the many other roles women play in the home and in a rice farming community, it is obvious that, like men, women, too, have the power to help make the country’s goal of achieving rice self-sufficiency a reality. If well-tapped, the likes of Purita can play a strategic role –as a wife, mother, and farmer herself.

The grand plan for women

The various roles that women play in rice farming households attest to the potential contribution of women to the country’s aim of achieving rice self-sufficiency. This prospect, however, often goes unnoticed and unrecognized because the farmer’s image is always projected as a man’s. In response, PhilRice continues to strengthen its R&D efforts for women to support its commitment to goal 3 of the Millennium Development Goals — promote gender equality and empower women. GADi is PhilRice’s lead arm in mainstreaming gender activities. It was

JULY-SEPTEMBER 2010, Vol. 23 No. 3


ics Division of PhilRice. Most crucial of these factors are the trend in rice prices in the world market, supply of rice in the domestic market, cost of production, seasonality of palay production, government’s price subsidy system, and importation.

Government intervention

In Mataia’s paper Trends and Outlook of the Rice Market in the Philippines, she explained that high rice prices in the world market jack up prices in the domestic market, which then trigger higher wholesale and farm gate prices as markets are integrated. Without government intervention, this scenario persists.

Fortunately, the government referees the domestic market through different policy interventions primarily to stabilize rice supply and prices.
Through the National Food Authority (NFA), the government establishes a price subsidy system allowing market intervention through the purchase of palay and sale of rice at predetermined price levels. NFA sets a support price for palay to assure farmers a reasonable return of their investments and maintain a ceiling price for consumers that will control pricing during the lean season (July-September). However, owing to the government’s inadequate funds, it hardly becomes successful in defending farm-level support price.

Hanah Hazel Mavi M. Biag

Rice prices:


Surplus, imports

verything is right, especially my yield, except the buying price,” said Walter Guiang, a farmer of Piddig, Ilocos Norte.

Guiang is one of the farmers who continue to plea for higher buying price for palay and lower selling price for milled rice. But, determining these prices is not as easy as 1, 2, 3. Why rice is cheap or expensive is due to a number of factors, according to Alice Mataia, of the Socioeconom20

High seasonality of palay production also dampens the price of palay. During the last quarter of the year, when the bulk of the wet season harvest enters the market, palay price is usually low as there is a surplus. Farmers sell their produce right after harvest for reasons such as their urgent need for cash or having limited drying and storage facilities. Mataia also stressed that the untimely arrival of imports also pulls down rice prices, which then exacerbates to low palay prices. This was the case in 1984, 1985, 1990, 1993,

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1995, and other years when imported rice landed during the peak harvest season. Imported rice is particularly needed during the offseason months.

High palay price for farmers, low rice price for consumers

Also in Mataia’s paper, An Analysis of the Marketed Surplus of Palay in the Philippines, she said that high palay prices will spur higher income for rice producers that can stimulate farm productivity and further expand area cultivated to rice. High palay price can be an engine of growth for increasing rice production. However, any increase in palay prices will make milled rice prices escalate, which will disadvantage low income earners who are net consumers of rice. These consumers spend 27% of their income on rice alone. Hence, an increase in prices will lead to a decline in consumers’ real income as well as in the purchasing power of the households. The International Rice Research Institute recommends that the best strategy for keeping the price of

From January to June 2010, the retail prices for well-milled rice were P34.20, P34.46, P34.09, P34.40, P34.32, and P34.40, respectively.

rice low is to increase production at a higher rate than the increase in demand. Furthermore, policy reforms that make rice markets more efficient will also help keep rice prices low. Renowned rural sociologist and

PhilRice trustee Dr. Gelia Castillo, on the other hand, says that if farmers’ productivity increases, they will have higher profit. The price of rice will likewise dip, thereby benefiting the consumers.

Tapuy (rice wine) has been essential in many cultural activities in the Philippines, especially in the Cordilleras. It makes one salivate when seeing it and keeps one asking for more. Not only can tapuy satisfy one’s discriminating taste buds, it can also meet one’s health needs because it has less calories compared to beer. To make tapuy more indispensable and more exhilarating, Kelvin Nesty Tellez of the La Fortuna College – Cabanatuan City made an exciting concoction of the wine, and the ingredients used gave the wine a “smooth consistency.” The tapuy concoction made Kelvin win the flair-tending and cocktailmixing competition during the Gastronomia 6 on February 10, 2010 at Holiday Inn, Clark Field, Pampanga. Here’s his winning concoction: Ingredients: (single serve) • 1 jigger PhilRice Tapuy • ¼ jigger GSM Blue Gin • ½ jigger Kahlua • ½ jigger Bailey’s • 6 scoops vanilla ice cream • 1 scoop ice • Chocolate syrup • Whipped cream • Red cherry Procedure: 1. Pour Tapuy, Gin, Kahlua, Bailey’s, and ice cream in a blender. Blend until smooth. 2. Garnish on top with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and red cherry. 3. Serve in poco grande glass. 4. Enjoy it with gusto.

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21 21


tandem clicks

Ella Lois T. Bestil

UNIDO representative Dr. Chandra Raj (right) visits the MSC Renewable Energy Facility from time to time to monitor the progress of the project.

he PhilRice-Mariwasa Siam Ceramics (MSC) tandem clicked when both met at the crossroad of ‘re-angling’ farmers’ productivity from not only the yield per hectare criterion, but also in terms of farmers’ income increment.
“Are farmers’ incomes livable?” was the question they propounded as a common ground to consider. “We are concerned about sociocultural issues in farmers’ lives. Making technologies available to them is not enough a matter to consider. We also need to look at whether a farmer’s income allows him to really ‘live’ and pay for his debts,” Hazel Alfon of PhilRice-Social and Agro-Industrial Ventures unit (PhilRice-SAIV) said. With such a vision for development, PhilRice-SAIV established collabora-



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The system combusts biomass to produce heat through the hot air generator while the gasifier produces fuel gas. Being CO2-neutral, rice husk biomass does not emit CO2 to the atmosphere. The system produces rice husk ash as waste. The Zero Waste System uses ash as a renewable raw material for ceramic tile-making, leaving zero ash disposal.

tion with MSC based in Taguig City through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), a special arm of the UN which focuses on poverty reduction through productive activities, trade capacity-building, and energy and environment.

PhilRice-MSC accord

PhilRice-SAIV initiatives are about poverty reduction. The unit believes that poverty can be reduced by recognizing the base of pyramid (BoP), who are the people who live below P186 per day in rural villages and urban slums, as resilient and creative entrepreneurs. On the other hand, Dr. Suresh Chandra Raj, UNIDO ambassador, looks for companies that share the same vision. Thus, in an Energy Efficiency Inception meeting, the ambassador galvanized the causes of PhiRice-SAIV and MSC, one of the Philippines’ topnotch ceramics makers, to a program for farmers in MSC’s biomass-fueled power plant. He saw in PhilRice-SAIV a vision for farmers and in MSC a company that needs rice husk supply from farmers. Sitting well with UNIDO’s poverty reduction targets and PhilRice’s mission, the program aims to increase income of marginalized rice farming communities by engaging them in the supply chain of the biomass-fueled energy co-generation plant. Farmers sell rice husk to be fed to the biomass plant. Through UNIDO, rice and ceramics are “harmonized.”

PhilRice’s Hazel Alfon and the MSC Renewable Energy team received the Blue Sky Award for the project’s impact on renewable energy for sustainable development and improving farmers’ income.

Rice Husk for Ceramics Industry is an innovation introduced by the Siam Cement Group (SCG). This system uses biomass to produce heat and fuel gas. “This system contributes to environmental clean-up and making farmers’ lives better,” Jiraphat Oebchokchai, MSC’s Vice-president for Manufacturing, said. The system combusts biomass to produce heat through the hot air generator while the gasifier produces fuel gas. Being CO2-neutral, rice husk biomass does not emit CO2 to the atmosphere. The system produces rice husk ash as waste. The Zero Waste System uses ash as a renewable raw material for ceramic tile-making, leaving zero ash disposal.

socially responsive business operators who set quality standards of material deliveries.
“There is a need to transform farmers into innovators and productive entrepreneurs. They will understand quality issues if they see the system they are part of,” Alfon said. This program between MSC and PhilRice-SAIV is being pilot-tested in Tarlac, Pampanga, and Nueva Vizcaya. Farmers from more than 10 ricemills in the three provinces have so far sold to MSC about 356 tons of rice husk. Alfon said that these farmers earned an estimated P385,600 put together. “Our agreement with MSC is harmonious and we thank UNIDO for facilitating the linkage. We are planning to implement the system in other areas as we see the outcomes are promising. We now see a number of farmers employed and the income of farmers is improving,” Alfon said as she muses other energy projects that will provide new opportunities and productivity for farmers.

The Biomass Supply Agreement

MSC’s technology Zero Waste Renewable Energy & Raw Materials from

PhilRice-SAIV works closely with rice millers to ensure the integrity of the biomass that will be delivered to MSC. It motivates farmers and rice millers to be

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on agriculture courses, too



Hanah Hazel Mavi M. Biag

he attainment of rice self-sufficiency could be likened to a big scene in an upcoming blockbuster movie. Lead actors are the rice farmers. People behind the scenes are found in research, development, and extension institutions.
Now, what if this “movie” suddenly fell short of human capital, as only a few now want to join the agriculture world? In a statistical bulletin of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), almost 95,000 students enrolled in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and veterinary medicine courses in 20002001. This number shrank by 25 percent in 2004-2005 (71,000). Other universities are afflicted with the same malady, such as at the Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay City, Leyte, which had a 51 percent decrease in BSA enrolment from 1999 to 2009. to the specific technical or scientific agriculture field for employment. “Farming should be viewed as an agricultural enterprise with other valueadding activities in processing and marketing,” she added. During the UPLB-College of Agriculture’s (CA) centennial celebration in 2009, then Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap similarly challenged the university to reassess its CA curriculum and make it business-oriented in view of the current global crisis.

Reviving lost appeal

Declining enrolment rate

In a paper titled Career Choice Factors of Agriculture College Students (2008) by Frances Muriel Tuquero of Palawan State University and Maria Ana Quimbo of UP Los Baños (UPLB), it was pointed out that Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BSA) has the fewest number of enrollees among the academic programs offered by higher academic institutions in the country.

Despite the fact that UPLB is still considered the country’s premier agricultural university, it suffered a 15 percent decrease in enrolment in its BSA program from 1999 to 2009.

For a country living on agricultural economy, a strong agricultural labor force is needed. This can be revived through a change in perspective in agricultural education, and support from the government and private sectors. In an article titled Diploma in Agricultural Entrepreneurship: Reinventing agricultural education (1999) by Gina Mission of CyberDyaryo, it was stressed that for agricultural education to be relevant today and in the future, focus has to be given to its “practical” side, and that is how to make money out of agriculture. The students have to spend more time in actual, handson work in real agricultural ventures. The same paradigm shift in agricultural education was also raised by Dr. Fay Lea Patria M. Lauraya, president of Bicol University. She said that science and technology (S&T) application in agriculture should be combined with entrepreneurship and management, and not just the acquisition of knowledge and skills related

Show me the money

With this paradigm shift, a number of agribusiness magnates are expected to rise soon. The country will not only have world-class Filipino agricultural scientists occupying high posts in international institutions or professors in leading agricultural universities and as topnotch consultants, leaders in a number of scientific journals, and speakers in international conferences, but also big-time earners in agriculture. The private sector and government can also help reverse the trend in student enrolment in state colleges and universities. The private sector could support professional development in the fields of agronomy and similar courses, and enhance the employabil-

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ity of agriculture, forestry, and natural resources (AFNR) graduates in agribusiness. The government, in return, should provide more scholarships to students taking up agriculture-related courses. Local government units (LGUs) must recruit agriculture graduates as agricultural technologists who provide technical assistance to farmers.

The Philippine Council for AFNR Research and Development (PCARRD) is also accelerating human capital build-up in the AFNR sectors through the P200-million program “Enhancing the Demand for AFNR Graduates through Science and Technology.”
PCARRD Executive Director Patricio Faylon says AFNR remain the major sources of livelihood for most Filipinos

least 51 educational business projects with high S&T content. For its part, PhilRice also plans to conduct month-long rice S&T updates for 200 on-the-job trainees (OJTs) every summer. As proposed, these OJTs must be agriculture students from various Philippine universities and colleges, and whose families farm for a living. PhilRice believes that tapping these OJTs will help the Institute to bring the latest rice information to farmers as they will also serve as sources of information. PhilRice also aims to encourage these students to apply for work in the Institute after they graduate. These OJTs will not be just the Institute’s partners in information dissemination, but also in rice RD&E in the long run. Sharing the same optimism, Dr. Josie A. Valdez, president of Bulacan Agricultural State College, said “Our agriculture graduates employed in Bulacan as technologists are in their retiring age, and livestock and vegetable production projects are already

farming. Try a course that will help you land a high-paying job.” These were the resounding lines that Roel R. Suralta heard from certain people when he decided to take up BSA major in botany in 1990. Despite the discouragement, he went on to finish his course. While pursuing his studies, he heard about the multi-awarded personalities in VSU and felt an overwhelming admiration for them. He realized that agricultural courses are not all about farming. For him, this was a misconception that had to be rectified. Now, Suralta, a doctoral degree holder, is part of the Agronomy, Soils, and Plant Physiology Division of PhilRice. He works on roots research, which is worth exploring when it comes to addressing drought. Just like the personalities he had admired, he also has received recognitions for his contributions in agricultural science. He won in the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Talent Search for A typical classroom of agriculture courses nowadays show few attendees or coursetakers.

and the lifeblood of the economy but underemployment in these sectors, which comprise 35% of the country’s employed workforce, has increased from 45% in 2007 to 47% making employment a not-so-bright prospect for the new graduates. To address this issue, a program was launched in 2008 to increase enrolment in AFNR courses by 1015%; increase employment for AFNR graduates by 10%; and establish at

everywhere. We also have graduates working in chemical companies based in the Philippines, and even in big farms in Canada. I believe that in the future, the demand for agriculture graduates will increase just like the fate of other preferred graduates.”

Young Scientists in July 2009. He bagged the Best Paper Award from the Federation of Crop Science Societies of the Philippines in May 2009 and the Philippine Society of Soil Science and Technology, Inc. in May 2010; and he was adjudged by NAST as one of the Outstanding Young Scientists in July 2010.

Not just an agri grad

“You come from a family of farmers and yet you still choose to take an agri course? It will just pull you back to

“Agriculture, unlike what many people think, can lead you to a lot of opportunities. Just look for your own niche and excel not only for your own good but also for your country,” Dr. Suralta said.

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ICT: Defying geographical
Jezereel Louise C. Billano


ew farming technologies are continuously developed, and farmers want to know and master them.

Despite barriers imposed by distance, a strong link needs to be maintained between information sources and farmers. As such, an enhanced extension and education system is deemed essential. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) are now used in extension service to ensure that the latest knowledge and technologies are available and accessible to more Filipino agricultural stakeholders. The Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture (OpAPA) optimizes ICT potentials in addressing the growing demand for agricultural knowledge.

ICTs, such as radio, computers, Internet, television, mobile phone, and others hasten information dissemination. Messages reach larger groups in different places almost at the same time. Because of these, more people are updated as ICT platforms, regardless of distance, facilitate interaction among experts, farmers, extension workers, and other sectors. These advantages are especially important for the archipelagic Philippines. Hence, OPAPA continues to innovate.


Enrolment procedures, pretests, and discussions are now conducted through short messaging service (SMS) or text messaging. OPAPA takes the learning-by-texting concept to the next higher level. Short rice production courses are now being offered by the PhilRice Text Center (PTC) with its

newest feature, the TextAralan. PTC emerged as an effective extension tool that provides a convenient way by which farmers and extension workers in rural areas can consult with agricultural experts. It caters to the information needs of more than 16, 000 farmers, extension workers, professionals, and even students (data as of June 8, 2010). It has responded to almost 50,000 agriculture-related queries since 2006. In April 2010, PTC launched TextAralan by sending a call for enrolment in its Rice Blast Management course to Camarines Sur, Pangasinan, and Sultan Kudarat subscribers. A total of 360 clients responded positively. “Marami na akong nalaman mula sa pretest at sa lessons tungkol sa rice blast. Ibabahagi ko ang mga ito sa mga kapwa ko magsasaka para matuto rin sila (I have learned a lot from

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Bulacan farmers pose with the Executive Director, RSO, and OPAPA staff after the turnover ceremonies during the launching of the project, Enhancing Knowledge Access through Establishment and Maintenance of Cyber Communities in Location Specific Technology Development (LSTD) sites.

Pest Management are continuously conducted in different provinces. Through TextAralan, anyone can acquire technical and practical farming knowledge in a cheap and simple way—texting!

the pretest and rice blast lessons. I will share the knowledge I gained to my fellow farmers for them to learn also),” Aurelio N. Norte, an enrollee from Pangasinan, said. TextAralan courses usually last for two weeks. Each province is considered a class. Key messages or lessons, which are translated in Filipino or local languages, are sent to these classes simultaneously. These lessons are developed by PhilRice experts. TextAralan courses on PalayCheck and

Pinoy Rice Knowledge Bank (PinoyRice)

PhilRice and IRRI, with their partners in the field, are developing a website that will try to give everything you want to know to improve your rice farming. PinoyRice will provide practical strategies based on PalayCheck and a wide array of knowledge resources that include photos, video clips, audio files, maps, rice specialists’ directories, rice handouts, broadcast releases, frequently asked questions, and many more. Other services include technical support through text messaging, online forums, e-learning, and virtual conferencing. Materials are downloadable for free. PinoyRice will hopefully serve as a powerful knowledge tool for anyone engaged in rice farming or interested in helping the rice sector in the Philippines. Watch out for PinoyRice’s launching in November. Rise with rice: visit PinoyRice! (www.pinoyrkb.com)

LSTD Cyber Communities

Communities are starting to rise in Location-Specific Technology Development (LSTD) sites. Recently, OpAPA launched the project, “Enhancing Knowledge Access through Establishment and Maintenance of Cyber Communities in LSTD sites” in support

of the goal of attaining rice self-sufficiency in the Philippines. OPAPA collaborates with barangay units in LSTD sites to ensure sustainability of the project. These units help establish cyber communities by providing other necessary equipment. This cost-sharing scheme fosters a sense of ownership of the project in the community. On June 4, 2010, PhilRice Executive Director Ronilo A. Beronio handed a desktop computer to farmers of the first LSTD Cyber Community in Bubulong Malaki, San Ildefonso, Bulacan. PhilRice technology video CDs were also given to the LSTD participants. Beronio congratulated the LSTD site for being active and responsive to PhilRice projects that aim to help farmers improve their productivity. “Isang malaking tulong ang proyektong ito hindi lamang sa amin na lumalahok sa LSTD, kundi sa kabuuan. Sa pamamagitan ng mga makabagong kagamitan ay magkakaroon kami ng mas mabilis at mabuting komunikasyon sa mga eksperto lalo na sa PhilRice (This project is a big advantage not only for LSTD participants, but also for the whole community. Using these modern technologies, we will have fast and good communication with experts, especially PhilRice),” says Reynaldo G. Victoria, Barangay Chairman and an LSTD participant. The project, however, prioritizes areas with available Internet connection. Nevertheless, OPAPA supports the operation of the LSTD program even in areas without Internet by providing other materials and promoting the use of CD-based resources and access to the PhilRice Text Center. Agriculture is a knowledge-intensive industry. In overcoming geographical barriers, OPAPA continues to explore the use of effective venues where minds can meet, interact, and communicate. Through it, stakeholders become informed in making wise decisions and in improving their economic performance. For more information on TextAralan and for rice queries, text the PhilRice Text Center. To register and receive rice techno tips, type REG/NAME/ADDRESS/AGE/OCCUPATION, and send to 0920-911-1398.

JULY-SEPTEMBER 2010, Vol. 23 No. 3




ating rice is virtually no sweat at all.

order to attain a bountiful harvest, and how to make farming easier.

Producing it, however, is cumbersome and arduous. It requires a large number of people to do the jobs of leveling the production fields, building and maintaining the bunds, and taking care of the plants. It also requires the practice of organizing, hard work and perseverance. Not only does rice free us from hunger. It means much more. In producing it, it fosters the virtue of pakikipagkapwa tao (dealing and sharing with others) among Filipinos, especially among the farmers, and many other positive human values. I grew up in a barrio where rice fields are everywhere, and my neighbors are farmers. I saw how they endure the scorching heat of the sun to plant and harvest palay. I witnessed and observed the relationship of the farm owners and the tenants. I observed how they help each other in 28

During meals, farmers eat together. They share not only their baon (packed food), but their farming experiences as well. They exchange thoughts and ideas on how to improve their farming practices and skills. They share knowledge they acquired and learned in life.
When pests attack their crops, they strategize and act together. When crops are affected with calamities, they think of ways on how to make the most out of the little that is left. When they increase their yields, they celebrate together. When one is in need, the other is always willing to lend a hand. And utang na loob (debt

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of gratitude) comes to the fore when a previous benefactor needs a helping hand. Their sense of gratitude never ends. The Filipino farmers, indeed, give their very best in producing palay. Still, the supply of rice for every Filipino is not enough. Thus, it becomes ironic that as an agricultural country, with teeming farmers giving their all in rice production, we still import rice. I learned that a rice self-sufficiency program is being pursued by the Philippine government with the aim of attaining a hundred percent sufficiency in 2013. Easily, they say, this can be achieved by improving farming practices and re-orienting farmers on their knowledge and skills in farming. Studies were conducted and technologies developed on how to improve the yields of our farmers. Nonetheless, let us first clarify what sufficiency stands for. For me, sufficiency means no single stomach is empty and that no Filipino schooler goes to class without having his or her breakfast. It is not about thinking where or how to find the food but just being anxious and challenged by how to cook the food.

Rice self-sufficiency cannot be attained only through services and programs of the government and rice R&D agencies. It can be attained through participatory efforts by the government, rice R&D agencies, the farmers and rice consumers as well. In short, Philippine rice self-sufficiency can be attained through participatory efforts by every Filipino.
If every consumer realizes the efforts and sacrifices of those who planted palay, even if he or she does

not show utang na loob to them but at least has delicadeza, he or she cannot afford wasting kanin (cooked rice). Imagine life without the farmers. Imagine life without rice. Without the farmers and without rice, for me there would be no life at all. If every farmer keeps his relationship well, and values his samahan (organization or association), efforts to feed the nation will not be so much of an effort. The responsibility of feeding the nation will not be so much of a burden if everyone knows the virtue of bayanihan (helping one another), the “togetherness” in any worthy undertaking or endeavor. If all Filipinos will be hand-inhand in attaining the goal of rice self-sufficiency, the rice supply in the Philippines will become enough to feed Filipinos three times a day, and that no Filipino will ever die because of hunger. No one will sleep with an empty stomach. No one will start his or her day without having breakfast. No breadwinner will get worried on how to feed his dependents. I join PhilRice in celebrating its 25th anniversary and I take pride in being a part of its goal in helping attain rice self-sufficiency in the country. I may be just a student who is not capable of developing technologies to improve the yields of the farmers, but I certainly value the farmers’ effort. I save rice. I cook every grain. I eat everything on the plate. So far, I have not done much in the attainment of the noble goal of having a rice-self-sufficient country. But in my heart of hearts, I know that somehow I am doing my best in giving the right regard and appreciation for every grain of rice. Precious Glenn G. Antalan Student AB Development Communication Central Luzon State University

What’s your say?

C’mon, speak up! Students are encouraged to submit their essay about farming, farmers, and rice. Email us at ablanuza@email. philrice.com.ph (subject: Student’s essay for PhilRice Magazine)

JULY-SEPTEMBER 2010, Vol. 23 No. 3



Mga tanong

ukol sa palay
Inihanda ni Christina A. Frediles

Ayon sa PhilRice Text Center ng Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture (OPAPA) na tumanggap ng 39,230 na text mula noong 2006, ang barayti at binhi ng palay ang pinakamadalas tanungin (28.95%), sumunod ang pamamahala sa peste (15.80%), at pamamahala sa sustansya ng palay (15.10%). Ilan sa mga katanungan at mga naging sagot ay ang mga sumusunod:
Tanong: Anong bagong barayti sa ngayon ang mainam itanim at matibay sa rice blast? Pakisabi na rin ang agronomikong katangian at iba pang detalye kung mayroon. - Edna U. Aradanas, Pangasinan.
Sagot: Ang NSIC Rc184 (Salinas 2) ay matibay sa blast. Ito ay angkop ilipat-tanim sa palayang may patubig na pinapasok ng tubig-alat, sa tag-araw o tag-ulan. Nagmula ito sa “PhilRice breeding team” at inilabas ng NSIC noong 2009. Karaniwang umaani ito ng 62 kaban kada ektarya; gumugulang sa 120 araw; at may taas na 87 cm. Ang Salinas 2 ay may 14 na suwing namumunga sa bawa’t isang puno; matibay sa “yellow stem borer” (YSB) at katamtamang matibay sa bacterial leaf blight (BLB). Malambot kung bagong luto ang kanin.

Tanong: Kailan mainam itanim ang NSIC Rc128? Ito ay sobrang tinamaan ng neck rot kumpara sa ibang barayti dito sa Cagayan Valley.
– Ricardo Marquez Sagot: Ang NSIC Rc128 ay madaling kapitan ng blast. Kaya’t kailangang mahusay ang pamamahala sa sustansya. Iwasan ang sobrang nitrohenong pataba dahil ito ay nagpapalamya sa tanim kaya madaling kapitan ng sakit.

Tanong: Mayroon bang hybrid na pwedeng itanim sa tag-ulan?
- Grace Mirando, Camarines Sur Sagot: Ang NSIC Rc202H (Mestiso 19) at Rc204H (Mestiso 20) ay maaaring itanim sa tag-ulan o tag-araw man. Sila ay angkop sa palayang may-patubig, na tulad sa Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Cagayan, Davao del Sur/Norte, South Cotabato, at Bukidnon. Ang bigas ng Mestiso 19 at 20 ay maputi, makintab, at madikit kapag luto. Ang kanin nila ay malambot kung bagong luto. Ang Mestiso 19 ay umaani ng 134 cav/ha at 128 cav/ha naman ang Mestiso 20.

Tanong: Ang potash ba ay nakatutulong sa pagkakaroon ng sakit sa dahon ng palay?
- Francisco Cerdana, Sultan Kudarat Sagot: Ang potash po ay nakatutulong sa pagpapahaba ng uhay, pagpaparami ng malamang butil, pagpapalaki, at pagpapalakas ng resistensya laban sa mga sakit ng palay, lalung-lalo na sa blast.

Tanong: Meron bang rice variety na Rc222?
- Armando Casile, Batac City, Ilocos Norte Sagot: Meron pong NSIC Rc222 (Tubigan 18), lumabas noong 2009. Kung lipat- tanim, ito ay umaani ng 6.1-10 tonelada kada ektarya; kung sabog-tanim, 5.7-7.9 tonelada. Ito ay may katamtamang tibay sa blast, BLB, at tungro pero dinadapuan din ng brown planthopper at green leafhopper. 30

Tanong: Ano ang mga traditional method sa pagkontrol at sa pagpatay ng stemborer at fruitborer?
- Rowena P. Fernandez, Oriental Mindoro Sagot: Sa stemborer, kailangang magtanim nang sabayan sa inyong lugar sa loob ng isang buwan. Huwag gambalain ang mga kaibigang insekto na tulad ng wasp, earwig, at iba pa. Gumamit ng barayti ng palay na matibay sa sakit, tulad ng IR66 at iba pa. Gumamit ng light trap para sa moths. Huwag sosobra ang pag-aabono.

JULY-SEPTEMBER 2010, Vol. 23 No. 3

JULY-SEPTEMBER 2010, Vol. 23 No. 3



Compiled by Elaine E. Joshi, Librarian

Rice malt shows potential for gluten-free beer

Elena Ceppi and Creste Brenna from the University of Milan in Italy obtained gluten-free malt from rice at both the laboratory and pilot plant scale. The scientists chose rice not only because it is free of gluten but also of its similarity to barley. Malted rice can be used by the food industries to produce a number of products including beer, and baby and dietetic food. The gluten-free food market is growing and was worth almost $1.6B in 2009, according to Packaged Facts. The market is experiencing compound annual growth rate of 28% over four years. Ceppi and Brenna initially performed laboratory-scale tests to identify the best malting conditions for rice, which they subsequently found to be germination for seven days at 20°C. The brewing industry sees the potential of gluten-free products. Anheuser-Busch became the first major brand to create a gluten-free product, with its Redbridge beer in 2006. (http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/content/view/print/306814 6/8/2010)

Sources of genetic resistance to rice sheath blight identified

Geneticist Anna McClung, director of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center in Arkansas, USA, and leader of the Rice Research Unit in Beaumont, Texas, heads a group of ARS scientists examining the rice genome search of genetic resistance to rice sheath blight. Plant pathologist Yulin Jia and his colleagues at Stuttgart scored a breakthrough in their sheath blight mapping efforts when they identified and confirmed qShB9-2, the first genetic region they found to have a major effect in controlling the disease. In a related project, geneticist Georgia Eizenga at Stuttgart screened 73 wild rice species for signs of sheath blight resistance. Seven accessions showed promise, and Eizenga’s team has crossed some of those accessions with domestic varieties to create new, resistant germplasm. The Stuttgart scientists have also developed “microchamber method,” a standardized screening technique to help quickly and accurately detect sheath blight in seedlings. This technique uses 2-liter or 3-liter plastic bottles to promote disease development by creating a humidity chamber. This allows the researchers to measure the seedlings’ disease reaction in just seven days. Moreover, it accelerates the process of identifying novel, resistant sources from cultivated and wild relatives of rice. Meanwhile, in Beaumont, geneticist Shannon Pinson has been studying gene-mapping populations from recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of domestic rice cultivar “Lemont” and Chinese cultivar “TeQing.” She found 18 chromosomal regions in these RILs with genes that can help rice plants resist damage from sheath blight, including the qShB9-2 genetic region confirmed by Jia. Two of the regions have shown a large, measurable effect on sheath blight resistance. (http://sify.com/news/printer_friendly.php?a=kffm4edbdah&ctid=2... 6/8/10)

Brown rice and cardiovascular protection

Rice is generally thought to be a healthy addition to the diet because it is a source of fiber. However, according to researchers at the Cardiovascular Research Center and Department of Physiology at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, not all rice is equally nutritious, and brown rice might have an advantage over white rice by offering protection from high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). New research by Satoru Eguchi, Associate Professor of Physiology, suggests that a component in a layer of tissue surrounding grains from brown rice may work against angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is an endocrine protein and a known culprit in the development of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. The subaleurone layer of Japanese rice, which is located between the white center of the grain and the brown fibrous outer layer, is rich in oligosaccharides and dietary fibers, making it particularly nutritious. However, when brown rice is polished to make white rice, the subaleurone layer is stripped away and the rice loses some of its nutrients. The subaleurone layer can be preserved in half-milled (Haigamai) rice or incompletely-milled (Kinmemai) rice. These types of rice are popular in Japan because many people there believe they are healthier than white rice. The Temple team and their colleagues at the Wakayama Medical University, Department of Pathology and the Nagaoka National College of Technology Department of Materials Engineering in Japan sought to delve into the mysteries of the subaleurone layer and perhaps make a case for leaving it intact when rice is processed. (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/printerfriendlynews.php?new sid=… 6/8/10)



APRIL-JUNE 2010, Vol. 23 No. 2

JULY-SEPTEMBER 2010, Vol. 23 No. 3



A call for action.

The dwindling enrolment rate in Agriculture courses calls for more support from the government and private sectors, and a change in perspective in agricultural education.

PHILIPPINE RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE Central Experiment Station Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, 3119 Nueva Ecija Tel.: 53(044) 456-0113, -0285, -0258 • Telefax 63 (044) 456-0649, -0651, -0652 loc.511 or 512 E-mail: prri@email.philrice.gov.ph • Website: http://www.philrice.gov.ph Text: 0920-911-1398 Entered as second class mail at Postal Region III under Permit No. 91