Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is Hybrid Rice?

A: Hybrid rice is the product of two genetically different rice parents wherein the positive qualities of each are combined in the F1 or hybrid seeds to produce higher yields, better eating quality, and resistance to pests and diseases. We would like to emphasize that hybrid rice is not a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) and currently, more than 60% of China’s rice lands are planted with hybrid rice.

Q2. How does hybrid rice farming differ from the traditional farming practices?

A: Hybrid rice farming is similar to inbred rice farming. However, hybrid rice requires greater attention during seedling propagation. The significant shifts from the traditional farming methods are: (1) use new F1 seeds every planting season. Unlike inbred varieties, farmers cannot replant using the grains from their harvest because hybrid rice will not give a uniform crop, thus depressing the yields to levels lower than inbred varieties; (2) use only 18 kg seeds per hectare (traditional varieties use 120-160 kgs per hectare); (3) apply 10-15 cavans of farm wastes and organic materials in the seedbed to make the soil loose and friable. This will facilitate seedling pulling by keeping roots of seedlings intact, thus preventing transplanting shock; (4) sparse 18 kg seedlings in 400 m2 seedbed; and (5) transplant only one to two seedlings per hill.

Q3. Can hybrid rice lead us to self-sufficiency in rice?

A: Our country’s level of rice importation is 600,000 metric tons per year. We have over 1 million hectares of irrigated rice lands. Therefore, a minimum increase of 1 ton per hectare yield in our hybrid rice cultivation will result in a rice surplus. Considering that our population grows at a rate of 2.5% annually, we mist take aggressive steps now to improve our rice yield. Hybrid rice technology is one of the key technologies that can make our country self-sufficient in rice.

Q4. If we have a rice surplus, wouldn’t that drive down the price of rice?

A: Yes. Inevitably, the law of supply and demand will come into play in the market place. Having a rice surplus, however, would mean that there will be more land area that can be freed to plant other high value crops instead of rice creating other income opportunities to farmers. Surplus rice can also be used to support other food industries such as using rice to produce bihon, rice cakes, and flour among many others.

Q5. What other benefits can be gained by planting hybrid rice?

A: Hybrid rice had been proven to improve the rice harvest of farmers. Improved rice harvest will create higher income for farmers. Higher income for farmers will give them stronger purchasing power, thus stimulating and creating a positive domino effect to the economy. Strong agricultural sector, employment availability, and improved living conditions in the rural areas will greatly reduce urban migration.

Q6. How much can the farmer profit from hybrid rice?

A: The average yield of hybrid rice versus certified inbred rice for 17 seasons from Wet Season 2001 to Wet Season 2009 is 6.10 MT/ha versus 4.4 MT/ha or an increase of 1.7 MT/ha (36.3% increase). At 17 pesos per kg of palay, the farmer will get an additional income of 28,900 pesos. Remove, say for example, 10,000 pesos additional cost of production and the farmer will earn an additional net profit of 18,900 pesos per hectare every season. Highest yielders of SL-8H Super Hybrid Rice Seeds in six provinces (Ilocos, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija) had realized average net profits of 131,812 pesos per hectare, average expenses of 53,790 pesos per hectare with average yield per hectare of 12,400 kg (248 cavans) during the Dry Season.

Q7. What is the cost difference between growing hybrid rice and inbred rice variety?

A: It will cost an additional 10,000 to 11,000 pesos per hectare to grow hybrid rice. The difference is in the cost of labor, inputs, and seeds (5,000, 3,000, and 3,000 pesos respectively).

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Address: 1231 Makati City, Philippines
Telephone: (+632) 813-7828 loc. 523/532
FAX: (+632) 888-4791
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