Aromatic rice harvest festival boosts farmers in Maguindanao

By PERLITA D. CHANGCO, Contributor

COTABATO City — Rice researchers and farmers in the autonomous region are delighted with the bountiful harvest of the Philippine long-grain aromatic rice planted in a three-hectare ricefield in North Upi, Maguindanao.

The introduction and experiment on the viability and adaptability of this kind of rice or better known in India as Basmati rice is part of government efforts toward rice sufficiency under the Agri Pinoy program of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

According to Dhigs Abdullah, chief of Agricultural Information Division of the Department of Agriculture in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DAF-ARMM), three varieties of the aromatic rice such as the PAR 370, PAR 385, and CLS-1 have been planted in a three-hectare techno demo farm of the Upi Agricultural School (UAS), North Upi, Maguindanao.

The undertaking was initiated by the ARMM Integrated Agricultural Research Center (ARMMIARC) in coordination with DA-Maguindanao Research Outreach Station and UAS, Abdullah said.

During the harvest festival held on Thursday, at 20-kilo seedlings per hectare, Abdullah noted a high yield of the CLS-1 variety at 5.93 tons per hectare followed by PAR 370 with 4.70 tons/ha, while they have yet to receive a report on the yield of PAR 385 as harvest was set Jan 13.

PAR 370 variety is due for harvest in 112 days while CLS-1 matures in 113 days from planting day.

UAS assistant research and extension technical person Marlon Garrigues said, that production cost amounting to P30, 000 per hectare was spent for 14-14 fertilizer, urea, and vermicast for the three varieties while net income for CLS-1 alone was estimated at P62, 000 based on the prevailing price of P15.50 per kilo of palay.

Abdullah said the DA, through the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), continues to strengthen research program initiatives aimed at boosting the agricultural sector particularly the rice farming communities.

Considering the encouraging results, demo farms on the Philippine long-grain aromatic rice will be replicated in many areas with suitable climatic condition similar that of North Upi, Abdullah said.

Meanwhile, ARMM executive secretary Atty. Anwar Malang who represented OIC-Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman during the harvest festival urged residents to submit priority needs for assistance and has likewise local agriculture officials to prepare a Master Development Plan to include construction of training centers and upgrading of necessary facilities for funding allocation.

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