Aerobic rice technology introduced in Region XII

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (10 November 2015) – The aerobic rice technology was introduced in Region XII during the 3rd Aerobic Rice Conference held October 19-23 at Sarangani Highlands Garden and Restaurant in Tambler, this city. The aerobic rice technology, a production system of growing rice, was an output of intensive research and experiment by the Bulacan Agricultural State College (BASC) headed by Josie Valdez, PhD., Aerobic Rice Technology Research and Development project leader. Valdez was targeting a national proposal for aerobic rice technology. She was also advocating for the use of the technology on a regional level through Sultan Kudarat State University (SKSU) president Rolando Hechanova, PhD., together with Jimmy Olivo, Regional Technical Director for Research Regulation of Department of Agriculture XII. “Sa region naman, we are ready to receive project proposals which are worthwhile. We cannot release funds without proposals,” said Olivo. “The mandated function of the university (SKSU) includes research and extension. Nag-conduct na kami ng varietal trial. This technology is location specific. Posible na ang pwede sa Luzon, di pwede sa Mindanao. Nakapili na kami ng dalawang variety na pwede dito,” Hechanova stated. “This technology made use of two varieties of rice. The lowland variety, high-yielding plus the upland variety. Through breeding, nagkaroon tayo ng aerobic rice variety,” Valdez explained. “This variety is drought-resistant. It is also resistant to pests and diseases. No need to control pests and diseases. Very competitive siya. This must be coupled with appropriate cultural management practices,” he added. Further, Valdez identified long-grain varieties, NSIC RC 23 and NSIC RC 192, which are early maturing for use in this technology. She said, these varieties would take 100 to 105 days before they can be harvested. The aerobic rice can be planted either row-seeded or by broadcast method in three identified areas which are upland, lowland rain fed and water-scarce areas with irrigation system. This rice technology is also better than the conventional method of planting rice when it comes to return of investment when proper procedure is followed. “Itatanim mo yung palay na parang mais. You don’t need to flood the area. You have to plant it dry. It could save 50% water compared to the conventional method of growing rice,” Valdez said. This technology was introduced by scientists from International Rice Research Institute in 2000. Research by BASC commenced only in 2004. (Gensan CPIO/ Sharmagne Villacastin)