Mindanao, an island in the South of the Philippines, is predominantly an agricultural area. Crops that are dominantly cultured in the second largest island of the country are banana, pineapple, mango, rice, and corn. However, rice Fields are still common in the area. The biggest rice areas in the region are in the provinces of SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos)—where the total rice area of around 346,000 hectares use several planting methods: transplanted (190,000 ha) and direct seeding, which then comprises of Direct-seeded Wet (90,000 ha) and Dry-seeding (66,000 ha).
The SeedWorks Mindanao Team, headed by Frank Aguda, took the opportunity to help and assist the farmers on how to properly cultivate TH-82 hybrid rice seed through dry-seeding and direct-seeding techniques this wet season instead of the traditional inbred varieties and likewise benefit from the hybrid rice program of the DA RFO12.
Dry Seeding is a method of seeding dry rice seeds (not pre-germinated) in soil prepared also in dry conditions. Water from rainfall or irrigation is introduced only after sowing using this type of planting culture. The advantage is that it saves a lot of time and water since about 4 million to 15 million liters of water is used per hectare during land preparation for ‘puddled’ field.
“In the past techno demos in the area, there had been attempts using other hybrid rice varieties for dry-seeding but were not successful,” said Precilla B. Baldonado, Community Service Office’s (CSO) focal person from Purok Bannawag, Barangay Palumbe Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat. SeedWorks Philippines’ TH82, given its hybrid seed vigor and robust root system, proved to be a hybrid that is adapted for these two segments of rice culture in the region. “With the support of the Regional Director and the Rice Team of RFO No. 12, the program is a success,” said Frank Aguda, Area Manager for Mindanao. (Photo was taken on June 22, 2019, with DA Region 12 officials headed by Regional Director Engr. Milagros Casis, represented by Ben Casis and Sherly Daulo, Rice Program Staff, shows rice field using dry-seeding culture sown on May 30, 2019, in Barangay Mamali, Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat using 30kg seeds per kilogram)
“As a result of our collaborative effort, the Regional Office No. 12 thru the Regional Executive Director Engr. Milagros Casis, we were able to establish 200 hectares Techno-Demo for Dry-seeding Culture using TATAG HYBRID TH82 and 2,000 hectares for Direct-seeded wet Techno Demo using TH82 Hybrid Rice,” ends Aguda.