Vol. 8 No. 390
Sunday, March 4, 2012
   
  Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines



BISU to study ways for more Bohol rice yields

RICE TRADITIONS. While Bohol may seek ways to improve its yields, it must also consider its stand on possible use of chemical fertilizers and other artificial farm input so as to keep better farmer profits over huge harvests but profits barely covering up for expensive and environmentally pressing inputs. (PIABOhol/RAC)

Bohol Island State University has committed to delve into the complexity of increasing rice production yield per hectarage and submit its recommendations in efforts to further prop up local production here.

The governor together with BISU President Engr. Elpedio Magante, along with key provincial government officials recently visited South Korea for agriculture, tourism and education benchmarking activity while strengthening relations between the two.

In South Korea, where the group saw not as ideal climates for rice production because of winter season, they learned that harvest yields are higher despite fewer croppings.

It may be recalled that rice production experts promoting the use of hybrid rice varieties said using hybrid assures bigger yields.

The downside however, according to local farmers is that using the said varieties also demands increase in farm outputs like fertilizers and pesticides, where recouping the added costs usually add up to much lesser net for farmers.

It was not ascertained also if the rice varieties promoted are genetically modified, which are practically banned in Bohol courtesy of a provincial ordinance.

Pushing for locally produced certified rice varieties, Chatto said farmers want to know if by increasing yields of 3.5 tons per hectare can be done, which BISU would want to study too.

In Bohol, average yield is pegged at 2 tons per hectare, way below the highest yield of 8-10 tons in other key agricultural areas in the country, hybrid rice promoters boasted.

Guides from the Balay sa Humay: Boholís rice traditions museum say that there are local rice varieties that can be harvested within thirty days making a three cropping annually possible.

This also puts Bohol in a better position to increase its rice production considering that compared to Korea which has bitter winters, the Philippines has generally wet and dry seasons.

On this, Chatto also clarified that the winters also allow rice

fields in Korea to recuperate and regain its nutrients enough for the next planting season.

In Bohol where farmers sometimes splurge into the fields immediately after each cropping, observers believe that the saturated use of land also keeps it from recovering its nutrients, contributing to the lower yields.

To know all these factors in rice production, BISU has indicated its willingness to sit down and study these possibilities. (RAC)


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