President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has agreed to adopt hybrid rice as a better alternative to the inbred variety for increased crop production, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Marcos met with SL Agritech Corporation (SLAC), represented by its chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Henry Lim Bon Liong, as well as farmers from Central Luzon to discuss and address the challenges in the rice industry.
According to the Palace, the SLAC recommended to Marcos the conversion of rice farming areas for certified seeds (CS) to hybrid seeds. It proposed to convert 1.90 million hectares target areas planted with CS to hybrid seeds in four years.
Marcos said he would enforce a program to promote the shift by providing subsidies and facilitating loan financing to farmers, adding the need to apply the best practices being done by Central Luzon farmers to other areas.
“We would like to apply kung ano ‘yung ginagawa ninyo dito sa Central Luzon… so we can apply sa ibang areas (We would like to apply your best practices in Central Luzon to other areas),” Marcos said in a press release.
Citing a joint study by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and local government units (LGUs), Palace said the hybrid system has given 41% better yield than inbred conventional seeds in the past two years.
It added that hybrid farmers have reported harvesting around 7 to 15 metric tons (MT) per hectare as compared to the average 3.6 MT/hectare for inbred seeds.
For his part, Bon Liong said "hybrid technology will give better income to farmers and achieve rice sufficiency for the country."
Meanwhile, Marcos committed to further strengthen financial support to local farmers through the loan financing program.—AOL, GMA Integrated News