CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) has encouraged farmers to plant drought-tolerant varieties and use technologies that can help them cope with the impacts of the El Niño phenomenon.
Elmer Alosnos, senior science research specialist of DA-PhilRice, said on Wednesday that rice farmers must be prepared to plant drought-resistant and early-maturing varieties that could help them mitigate the effects of prolonged dry spell.
“Pumili dapat ang ating mga magsasaka ng varieties na angkop sa kalagayan ng kanilang bukid at panahon ng pagtatanim. At dun sa maaring makaranas ng labis na tagtuyot, pinapayo namin sa ating magsasaka ng pumili ng varieties na matibay sa panahon ng tag-araw at yung tinatawag nating early maturing varieties (Our farmers must choose varieties appropriate to the condition of their rice fields and the planting season. For those that can experience extreme drought, we are advising our farmers to select varieties that are drought-resistance and those what we called early maturing varieties),” Alosnos said in a radio interview.
For irrigated lowland, he said farmers may consider planting several early-maturing varieties such as PSB Rc10 (Pagsanjan), NSIC Rc130 (Tubigan 3), NSIC Rc152 (Tubigan 10), NSIC Rc134 (Tubigan 4) and NSIC Rc160 (Tubigan 14).
For rainfed lowlands, he said farmers may choose PSB Rc14 (Rio Grande) and PSB Rc68 (Sacobia).
Drought-tolerant varieties for the uplands, he said, include PSB Rc80 (Pasig), PSB Rc9 (Apo), and NSIC Rc23 (Katihan 1).
Aside from planting drought-tolerant rice varieties, Alosnos said there are technologies that can also help farmers cope with the effects of El Niño.
For water-saving technologies, he said they recommend the alternate wetting and drying (AWD) and low-cost drip irrigation system (LDIS).
“Ito po ay isang low-cost na pamamaraan ng pagpapatubig na gamit lamang ang observation well na gawa sa PVC pipe or bamboo. Sa pamamaraan na ito, hindi kailangan na laging babad sa tubig ang ating mga palay kagaya ng ating nakasanayan at walang ito masamang dulot na epekto gaya ng pagbaba sa ani (This is a low-cost way of irrigating the rice fields through the use of an observation well that is made from PVC pipe or bamboo. Through this, there is no need for palay to always soak in water unlike our practice and it has no bad effect such as the decrease in yield),” he added.
He said farmers in irrigated areas can also practice controlled irrigation, which can reduce the use of water by around 16-35 percent without reducing yield.
"Marami pang technologies na pwedeng ituro sa ating mga magsasaka. Pwedeng makipag-ugnayan ang ating mga magsasaka sa Department of Agriculture at PhilRice para sa karagdagang detalye at pagsasanay (There are still more technologies that can be taught to our farmers. They can coordinate with the Department of Agriculture and PhilRice for additional details and trainings)," Alosnos said. (PNA)