Field trials for morpho-agronomic characterization of heirloom rice

Field trials for morpho-agronomic characterization of heirloom rice

Department of Agriculture-Cordillera,
March 6, 2022,
DA-CAR Press Release No. 22-017,

Morpho-agronomic characterization of heirloom rice, vital for registration as traditional crops and Geographical Indication (GI)

In the pursuit to help document and conserve the heirloom rice landraces in the region, the Department of Agriculture–Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) continues to establish field trials for morpho-agronomic characterization of heirloom rice.

In partnership with the local government units, 25 heirloom rice samples will be characterized in Palina, Kibungan, Benguet; 40 heirloom rice samples in Dangtalan, Pasil, Kalinga; and 20 heirloom rice samples in Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Science Research Specialist Josie Dasayon said that information from the characterization undertakings are inputs to the requirements needed for the Geographical Indication (GI) registration of the heirloom rice landraces. It will also be used for the registration of said landraces as traditional crops to the Bureau of Plant Industry.

Further, morpho-agronomic characters are important in the utilization of seed collection in a gene bank. This also helps in asserting that the heirloom rice landraces are owned by the indigenous cultural communities. Dasayon recalls that the farmers agreed to document and register the heirloom rice landraces to retain community ownership since these are part of their identity as indigenous peoples.

To date, 257 heirloom rice samples were characterized on-site through the Heirloom Rice Project Phases 1 and 2 through the collaborative efforts of DA-CAR, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), State Universities and Colleges and Local Government Units.

Meanwhile, in the study “Morpho-Agronomic Characterization, Diversity Analysis and Yield Evaluation of Heirloom Rice Landraces in Benguet and Mountain Province” conducted in 2021, results showed that the heirloom rice landraces have distinct characters on the leaf, culm, panicle and grain. The number of days to booting, plant height, culm number, panicle number per hill and grain width are related to the grain yield.

Also, the early maturing landraces in Mountain Province were Chapochapor Variant 2, Kotinaw, and Lacatan while in Benguet are Ginala, Brando white and Bongkitan. The highest yielders were Waray Variant 1, and Tipa Variant 1 in Mountain Province and Balatinaw and Lamadya in Benguet.

// Sherry Antonio with reports from Josie Dasayon, Research Division