Mindanao has tapped a technology from Israel to expand its experiment of growing its irrigated upland rice farms.

MinDA Chair Emmanuel Piñol said his agency recently led the establishment of 10 demo areas using Israel’s pressurized irrigation and fertigation technology as it continues to explore the potentials of upland rice farming in the Mindanao region.

“With just a measly budget of P500,000 taken from its very limited funds, MinDA will work with Local Government Units, the Philippine Rice Research Institute [PhilRice], and a private rice seeds company, US Seedworks, for the project,” Piñol said.

He then explained that using the Israeli technology on pressurized irrigation and fertigation, MinDA will introduce modern upland rice farming using hybrid seeds and the indigenous upland rice varieties.

The demonstration farms will be about 1,000 square meters each and will be established in the traditional rice farming areas of Central Mindanao, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Caraga, Zamboanga Region, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

Dr. Sailila Abdula, assistant secretary for BARMM and former executive director of PhilRice, will lead the technical team that will supervise the demonstration farms.

The estimated yield, cost, and income will also be included in the study to be conducted by both PhilRice and the MinDA technical team.

US Seedworks, whose hybrid upland rice seeds, Tatag TH 82, had been selected to be used in the demo farm, had committed its full support to the project by donating seeds and inputs.

It will also sponsor the installation of one unit of pressurized irrigation and fertigation in one of the demonstration areas.

The planting in the demonstration farms will start towards the end of July and early August when the traditional upland rice farms had been harvested.

“MinDA aims to establish in this project that with modern upland hybrid rice seeds and pressurized irrigation and fertigation, traditional upland rice farmers could plant a second crop,” Piñol said. “This program is something that I thought of even when I was still Secretary of Agriculture but it never took off when I resigned two years ago,” he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/06/25/minda-taps-israels-technology-to-expand-upland-rice-farm-experiment/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=minda-taps-israels-technology-to-expand-upland-rice-farm-experiment)