Committed to help rice farmers in Davao Region, SeedWorks Philippines is now eyeing to increase planting coverage for US-88 hybrid rice variety.
SeedWorks President and General Manager Carlos Saplala told media in Wednesdays Habi at Kape in Davao Region 11 they have covered around 10,000 hectares planted with US-88 hybrid rice variety and are looking at a 50 percent increase in coverage areas. He believes that they can grow more in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur.
“Davao Region is very conducive, very good place to produce rice because of good soil and with this kind of variety it has a very good grain quality premium rice,” said Saplala.
After launching an aggressive campaign for its US-88 hybrid rice variety in Central Luzon, SeedWorks is now eyeing the rice-producing Davao Region as it continues to push its long-grained rice cultivar in line with the company’s effort to help Filipino farmers increase production of high-quality rice.
Aside from being an ideal rice seed for the local climate, the hybrid rice variety is also proven tolerant to typical crop diseases such as bacterial leaf blight that impede production of traditional rice varieties.
“What we have heard from the farmers directly is they prefer this variety for the yield, tolerance of the variety to the diseases not only to the insect pests but also to the diseases that are more difficult to control and the premium grain. Sabi nila it is comparable to other premium varieties that they have planted but does not give them as much yield,” Saplala said.
Other than its resilience, US-88 also produces rice that is characterized with long grain and the right softness that the rice-eating consumers usually prefer. Furthermore, milling and head rice recovery for US-88 is high comparable to premium rice that millers look for.
He said it is the goal of SeedWorks to help farmers increase their income as it is a factor of higher yield volume plus higher price of farm gate. He said if farmers plant US- 88 they can sell this from P1 to P2 higher because of the command of good quality grain.
In terms of yield, Saplala said the genetic potential of US-88 is above 10,000 kilos but what they have observed is close to 10 tons or 10,000 kilos actual yield per hectare.
“Remember the Philippine average per hectare is only 4 tons if more farmers can yield closer to 10 tons, then it will really increase our national average and not just producing any kind we should start thinking of producing quality rice. We Filipinos deserve quality not just quantity and that is our mission why we are intensifying the usage of US88,” he said.
Saplala said it is their commitment to intensify not only the promotion but to ensure that the supply of US-88 seeds is readily available and consistent by tying up with multinational logistics firm DB Schenker, the world’s leading global logistics provider headquartered in Germany that operates 70 logistic sites in the Philippines with 2,000 trucks deployed on a daily basis and an overall national workforce of up to 1,800 employees.