Philippines’ biggest hybrid rice seed firm SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC) is targeting the planting of hybrid rice on two million hectares in five years in its aim to help boost Philippines’ rice sufficiency and potential rice export.

staple food

As the agriculture/” title=”View all articles about Department of Agriculture here”>Department of Agriculture (DA) aims to hit 22.73 million metric tons (MT) of paddy rice production by 2016 based on its Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP), SLAC is aligning its targets with it.

“In three to five years, SLAC is aiming to feed 50 million people. By that time two million hectares must be planted to SLAC hybrid rice varieties,” said SLAC Chairman Henry Lim Bon Liong.

Convenors of the First Hybrid Rice Congress in the Philippines held in April this year supports the FSSP program that allocates some 400,000 hectares for hybrid rice by 2014.

By 2015 to 2016, this area is foreseen to grow to 500,000 hectares.

As SLAC supports DA’s FSSP target to also expand production of other staples like banana, cassava, sweet potato, and corn, SLAC believes rice will remain to be the staple of many Filipinos.

Providing for hybrid rice expansion will be a major answer to meeting sharply increasing food demand that may result in any food shortage.

SLAC’s specific target is to plant hybrid rice on 500,000 hectares.

“If 500,000 hectares are planted to hybrid rice, this can give an incremental yield of three to four tons per hectare. That would equate to an additional two million tons of paddy rice. At 65 percent milling recovery, this can feed 10 to 13 million people at 100 kilo per capita consumption,” said Lim.

Higher income

SLAC has been part of the Aquino government’s rice export program which is hoped to enable Filipino farmers to earn higher from rice planting.

The export program involves export only of premium quality rice, bringing an export price of at least $1,000 per MT compared to just around $500 per MT for regular rice.

As hybrid rice gives a high average yield of 7.5 MT per hectare compared to inbred’s four MT, farmers also benefit significantly from higher income.

His income can reach a net of P50,000 to P100,000 per hectare. Inbred rice farmers only earn a net of P15,000 to P30,000 per hectare.

Of the estimated 400 MT rice export for the year, SLAC accounts for more than 100 MT of the rice shipped to Dubai, Singapore, and the United States.

The company has been partnering with local government units, including Cagayan, Bohol, Isabela, and Nueva Ecija in the aim to raise hybrid rice production.

In order to achieve its five-year target, SLAC is entering into Private Public Sector Partnership or PPP.
It is collaborating with private seed companies, traders and millers, input providers (fertilizer and pesticide suppliers), credit and insurance providers, and DA agencies.

SL-8H areas

Lim said SLAC would not want the Philippines to be left behind in the global hybrid rice technology’s progress. This is amid SLAC’s own leadership in hybrid rice industry in South East Asia.

SL-8H seeds are targeted to planted on 410,000 hectares outside of the Philippines. These are 150,000 hectares, Bangladesh; 200,000 hectares, Indonesia, and 60,000 hectares, Vietnam.

The country’s hybrid rice area peaked to 360,000 hectares in 2005 at the height of the hybrid rice seed subsidy program of the government.

However, in 2011, when the subsidy was removed, hybrid rice area declined to 180,000 hectares.

While the Philippines was among Southeast Asian pioneers in hybrid rice technology since this was introduced early in the last decade, the country is now third from the last among eight identified countries.

The biggest hybrid rice areas as of 2011 were in India, two million hectares; Bangladesh, 700,000 hectares; Indonesia, 650,000 hectares; Vietnam, 595,000 hectares; United States, 439,000 hectares.

The last three countries (and continent) were Philippines, 180,000 hectares; Myanmar, 78,000 hectares; and Latin America combined, 70,000 hectares.

FSSP

The FSSP set a target area for the planting of high quality hybrid seeds plus nitrogen. This is 250,000 hectares for 2013, 400,000 hectares for 2014 and 500,000 hectares for 2015-2016.

From a target of 20.04 million MT in paddy rice production for 2013, DA’s FSSP has targeted rice production to increase to 21.5 million MT in 2014, 22.13 million MT in 2015, and 22.73 million in 2016.

Targeted area from irrigated system (where hybrid rice is mostly grown) is 16.3 million MT in 2013, 17.78 million MT in 2014, 18.37 million MT in 2015, and 18.9 million MT in 2016.

From non-irrigated ecosystems, it will be 3.75 million MT in 2013, 3.72 million MT in 2014, 3.75 million MT in 2015, and 3.83 million MT in 2016.

National yield average is projected to increase from 4.23 MT per hectare in 2013, 4.43 MT per hectare in 2014, 4.48 MT per hectare in 2015, and 4.53 MT per hectare in 2016.

Target area for high quality inbred seeds plus nitrogen including those that will use Integrated Crop Management is 742,500 hectares in 2013, 937,500 hectares in 2014, 1.137 million hectares in 2015, and 1.237 million hectares in 2016.

Dona Maria

In its own contract growing arrangements for the Dona Maria Premium Quality Rice, SLAC also plans to expand in Visayas and Mindanao.

These two major islands have high potential growth with the urbanization of major cities like Iloilo, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Tacloban, Davao,and General Santos.

SLAC’s top yielder-farmers have demonstrated that SL-8H can be a far superior rice variety than inbreds. Its highest yielding farmers’ records are 17.28 MT per hectare, Severino Payumo, Nueva Ecija; 17.2 MT, Aida Badong, Camarines Sur; 14.57 MT, Freddie Dalisay, Occidental Mindoro; and 14.02 MT, Severino Velasquez, Nueva Ecija.

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For any questions, kindly contact Ms. Joh Dungca (SLAC), 09175586508; for interview requests, Ms. Analiza C. Mendoza (Growthmagph), 09213383816, 09162666604. This press release available on http://growthmagph.com/?p=78