Los Baos, Philippines: In the last fifty years, the Philippines has more than tripled its rice yield, while the world average rice yield has increased only about 2.3 times.
Despite being criticized as a poor rice producer because of its status as the world's biggest rice importer, the Philippines has actually done remarkably well in raising its rice yields from 1.16 tons per hectare in 1960* to 3.59 tons per hectare in 2009**.
In 2009, Philippine rice yields were actually lower than the previous two years due to the damage done by the tropical storms "Ondoy" and "Pepeng". In 2007, average rice yields topped 3.8 tons per hectare and in 2008 they were 3.77 tons per hectare**.
Rice yields in the Philippines are also higher than those in Thailand, the world's biggest exporter of rice, where yields over the last few years have been around 3 tons per hectare*.
"The Philippines has enthusiastically taken up rice science technologies that have helped farmers dramatically increase their yields," said Dr. William Padolina, deputy director general for operations at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
"Filipino farmers have adopted more than 75 IRRI-bred high-yielding rice varieties since 1960, have greatly improved their fertilizer and pest management strategies, and are implementing water-saving technologies," he added.
IRRI was established in the Philippines in 1960 following a hunt throughout Asia that identified Los Baos in Laguna as the most advantageous location for an agricultural research program to expand food production in Asia. Los Baos was seen as an emerging hub of agricultural science and economics and the government of the Republic of the Philippines was supportive of research, teaching, and extension programs to improve farm management.
"This year, IRRI is celebrating its 50th anniversary," said Dr Padolina. "During our 50 years we have established some important and produc
|Contact: Sophie Clayton|
International Rice Research Institute