Saturday, 6 July 2013

Magtanim ay di Biro (Planting Rice Is Never Fun)

"Magtanim ay di Biro" a famous Filipino folk song narrating the daily lives of Filipino farmers, true to it's title planting rice is never a joke.   I have the opportunity to join IRRI's Rice Survivor Wet Season challenge.  It is an experience that will push your physical abilities to the limits.  Imagine from computing to farming, away from you comfort zone, this event can test your farming decision skills from soil to bowl.    

Planting Rice Is Never Fun nursery rhyme (Magtanim ay di Biro English version video courtesy of 111oswald) 

Our team called the Dark Knight Rices comprises of mixed disciplines all over the International Rice Research Institute.  The formidable team are composed of the ff... 
  1. Renee Lorica - our Rat expert  - Assistant Scientist-Ecology for Grant Singleton
  2. Lauro Atienza -  Web Developer of the Rice Knowledge Bank(RKB)of Training Center
  3. Anshuman Singh - Visiting Research Fellow under the drought group in PBGB specializing in molecular breeding
  4. Fiona Hay Phd.Senior Scientist | T.T. Chang Genetic Resources Center
  5. Salvie MariƱas - Exec. Secretary to Deputy Director General for Communication and Partnerships
  6. Dehner De Leon (Me) - Specialist Database Coordination, Social Sciences Division

The Rice Survivor Challenge is a great opportunity for IRRI staff to be aware of rice farming.  For me example, I've been with IRRI for 6 years now working with rice data, but have no clue in planting rice.  In this event I was able to experience some intensive labor in planting rice alone.  From.....
  • Modified Mat (Nursery) preparation

  • Snail Management (gotta wake up early if you like to catch em)
                                                                       Snail Picking (actually I had fun doing this)

Video: Warning: Snail Annihilation in progress! 

Setting up snail baits 

                                                                                                 Snail channel repair

Poor little snake caught on my shovel during snail channel repair

  • Nutrient Management and Transplanting

  • Removing Weeds (this task is truly exhausting)
Video: Weed rotavator in action, careful with the rice plants

Me doing a selfie shot while removing the weeds

Weed Management (Before and After shot)



Land preparation is almost finished and we are now on to Crop management and soon Harvesting.  As said "planting rice is never fun" but with hard work, perseverance, and a positive attitude.....there is also joy in farming.  Salute to the Farmers around the world!

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