HARVEST FESTIVAL UNDER NEXTGEN PLUS PROJECT FEATURES 12 NEW RICE VARIETIES

With the strong support from the MAFAR Minister Dr Mohammad S. Yacob and Hon. Municipal Mayor Ramon A. Piang, Sr., another successful harvest festival was conducted by the ministry today, August 8, 2020 in Nangi, Upi, Maguindanao and it showcased the performances of 12 new rice varieties.

These varieties were NSIC Rc442, NSIC Rc506, NSIC Rc508, NSIC Rc510, NSIC Rc512, NSIC Rc514 and the sticky and aromatic varieties for special purposes such as NSIC Rc482, NSIC Rc484, NSIC Rc31, NSIC Rc342, NSIC Rc344, and NSIC Rc19. These have been evaluated against the check variety NSIC Rc222 and the Farmers’ Variety NSIC Rc440 under the Participatory Performance Testing and Validation (PPTV) for Irrigated Lowland Inbred Rice.

Accordinng to Abdulnasseeff S. Ulong, BARMMIAC Center Manager, the NextGen project aims to use advances in plant breeding, such as the use of molecular biology, stratified multi-environmental testing (MET), and improved computational power to make the country’s rice breeding more efficient.

Meanwhile, Tong A. Abas, MAFAR Regional Rice and Seed Focal Person, said the harvest festival was the third one this year following the ones conducted in Datu Odin Sinsuat and Northern Kabuntalan. He showed and explained the respective performances of the varieties based on the pre-harvested panicles.

Minister Yacob expressed his excitement after he led the crop cutting with Mayor Piang and the rest of the officials and the farmers. He said the very objective of the ministry is to reach and uplift the lives of the farmers and fishers who are considered heroes. He emphasized the importance of research in developing new technologies and innovations that will increase their productivity.

After mentioning the local government’s different COVID-19 recovery programs in Upi, Mayor Piang thanked the BARMM government and the MAFAR and remarked that their votes for the establishment of the Bangsamoro Region were not wasted as they have felt its benefits. The chieftain was thankful for the farmers as they have been made part or involved in determining which rice varieties will give them more gains.

The activity also featured the conduct of preferential evaluation through which the farmers participated by going around the demo farms to identify which of the standing rice plants they preferred based on physical performance, resistance to pest and diseases, and yield potential.

A sensory evaluation shall also be done for which the different rice varieties shall be milled, cooked, and tasted by the farmers to know their eating quality and preference.

The NextGen Plus Farmer Cooperator was Fredie Monteclaro and the Focal Person was Elvie C. Betonio with Focal Person Abas, Center Manager Ulong, and Entomologist Baharen Piang as the lead researchers and Sherwin Jay Guiali, Mahather Mamadsual, Monalyn Marimpoong, and Al-Muid Acon as the research associates.

Aside from the interested and participative farmers, the activity was also graced by the MAFAR key regional staff and provincial officials led by Provincial Head Abdulnasser K. Badawi, and officials of the Upi Agricultural School.

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