PhilRice secures foundation of certified seeds

PNS — The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and its branch stations can produce the foundations of certified seeds that will be planted to rice farms nationwide for the next cropping seasons.

“Certified seeds are produced from breeder, foundation, and registered seeds. We will plant these basic seeds to 300 ha to secure enough supply of certified seeds,” PhilRice Executive Director Ronilo A. Beronio said.

According to Beronio, PhilRice with a mandate to produce breeder, foundation, and registered seeds of rice varieties of breeding institutions, allotted almost 42 ha and 243 ha for foundation and registered seed production, respectively.

Beronio said the Institute will produce a yield of 56,971 bags at 20 kg per bag this wet season enough to produce certified seeds, which will be planted to country’s projected harvested area of 4,718,385 ha in 2011.

PhilRice offers different varieties of each seed class, which include IR64, IR42, PSB Rc10, Rc14, Rc18, Rc28, Rc68, Rc74, Rc82, Rc96, and Rc98.

Moreover, varieties such as NSIC Rc9, Rc11, Rc118, Rc120, Rc122, Rc128, Rc130, Rc138, Rc140, Rc142, Rc146 will be planted in the Institute’s seed production area being managed by the Income Generation Office.

Cultivated following best farm management practice, PhilRice-produced varieties also include NSIC Rc150, Rc152, Rc154, Rc156, Rc158, Rc160, Rc182, Rc184, Rc188, Rc190, Rc192, Rc194, Rc212, NSIC Rc214, Rc216, and Rc222.

Meanwhile, prices per kilo are pegged at P80 for foundation seeds; P40, registered; and P30, certified.

“Although we have a stable supply of basic seeds, we need the help of certified seed growers as they are responsible for producing certified seeds to reach the farmers,” Beronio said.

Aside from foundation and registered seed production, PhilRice produces hybrid seeds such as NSIC Rc202H, Rc204H, Rc136H, and PSB Rc72H in its almost 16 ha with expected yield of about 700 bags at 18 kg per bag. Every kilo of hybrid seeds costs P195.

To help attain the country attain rice self-sufficiency, Beronio encourages farmers who still plant home-saved seeds to shift to certified seeds and to only buy seeds from accredited seed growers and seed companies.

Studies show certified seeds have a 10 percent yield advantage over the ordinary seeds as certified seeds have good survival rate and root anchorage leading to higher yield. Certified seeds also have passed the laboratory screening for seed purity and been given a blue tag by the Bureau of Plant Industry-National Seed Quality Control Services (NSQCS).

Beronio, urging farmers to buy quality seeds, said NSQCS provides tags to seeds that have met the Bureau’s stringent screening. He said that that registered seeds, in which certified seeds are produced, carry a green tag while foundation seeds, in which the registered seeds are derived, carry a red tag.

Furthermore, breeder seeds with white tags are used for foundation seed multiplication. These seeds are produced by breeding institutions such as the International Rice Research Institute, University of the Philippines Los Baños, and PhilRice.