Apr. 9, 2013
Launched during the 1st Hybrid Rice Congress in Munoz, Nueva Ecija, Arize Bigante is also the company’s most tolerant variety to bacterial leaf blight.
Bacterial leaf blight is a disease that causes wilting of seedlings as well as yellowing and drying of leaves leading to yield reduction of 20 to 30 percent.
“We are extremely excited to launch a new hybrid rice variety that is most tolerant hybrid variety to BLB (based on the field trial) and has a potential of 32 percent higher yield than inbred,” said Analen Dela Rosa, Bayer CropScience Heads of Seeds in the Philippines.
Arize Bigante Plus is Bayer’s fourth hybrid rice variety under the umbrella brand Arize, which include Arize Bigante, Arize TEJ and Arize H64.
In anticipation of increased hybrid rice seed demand in the country, Bayer CropScience is expanding the production capacity of its seeds station in Calauan, Laguna.
It is expected to invest some P40 million this year to expand the seed processing facility.
Dela Rosa, said the expanded facility would back up production to 50 metric tons (MT) per day from the current capacity of 10 MT.
A seed processing facility consists of lines for sorting, conditioning, treatment and packaging.
The company will also establish a new breeding station in the same site which will be used for testing new hybrid rice varieties for the Southeast Asian market, including the Philippines.
The packaged seeds would be distributed both locally and overseas, although the company prioritizes domestic distribution.
The company aims to become the market leader in hybrid rice seeds production in the Philippines by next year. Bayer’s strongest competitor in the local market is Filipino company SL Agritech Corp.
In lieu of providing subsidies to hybrid rice farmers, the government is pushing for the development of more varieties by public research institutions and private companies to drive down the cost of seeds and give farmers a wider choice of planting materials.
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