Thursday, 5 February 2015


Usual Wednesday (Feb 04, 2015). Wake up early. Eat breakfast. Go to Rice Survivor 4. BUT we are not going to tend our plots. We are scheduled to visit Dr. Mamaril's farm in Bay, Laguna. Maji emailed that his farm was frequently visited and known because of the practices he is doing in terms of farming and rice production. I do not expect anything. Actually, I am thinking that his talk will be all scientific practices (after all, he is a scientist) that can help us in managing our plot and talking about his experiences on experimenting on his farm.

Yes, indeed. Questions raised are about the rice varieties, transplanting, weed control, pest control, chemistry of the soil, mechanization, post harvest stuff. He answered the questions in a concise manner and from expert's point of view. But what struck me is when he talked about the economics of farming. Yes, a soil scientist talking about costs of labor, rental of machinery, investments and the market! 

He grows pigmented (red, black, and the famous brown rice), glutinous, and aromatic rice. These are low yielding varieties but can command a higher price. He mills his own palay. He sells brown rice in a lower price compared to brown rice found in supermarkets. He caters brown rice to two local restaurants and some customers would ask the restaurant where can they buy the brown rice. It has a niche market, people who wants healthy rice. He told us that there is an increasing demand for brown rice. 

"Farmers should know their market. Farmers should also know how to add value to their product. They should think farming as an enterprise" He said.

Consumer preference, value chain, investment games popped out on my mind. The realization of the market a farmer can cater, the customers preferences, the process and value that adds up to rice from harvesting to market. As part of the Market Research Team, I am so proud of hearing this.
(Photos courtesy of TC)

Jhoanne Ynion is a team member of RICE4TITANS Team along with Dr. Hung (Postharvest), Anthony (CESD), Grace (Comm), and Tita Marie (TC). She is a statistician and part of the Market Research Team in SSD. She just recently joined IRRI - learning and experiencing rice knowledge at a new level.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Bloopers of RICE4TITANS

Blooper #1: First time to use OCS

After the RS4 class discussion on OCS, we requested fertilizer for our 1st application thru OCS. We followed what was instructed and successfully requested the product. The thing is, we indicated 1KG of fertilizer. 1KG! haha! and just  noticed it the following day, the day of application. Well, so we requested again the complete fertilizer (14-0-0) and this time we know how to indicate the right amount. ;)

Blooper #2: Second time to use OCS

One of our teammate who knows fertilizer specify that we need UREA (46-0-0). He is indisposed so I volunteered to request. With much confidence in using the OCS, I use it to request fertilizer for our 2nd application. I just told him, "OK, I'll just follow what you did last time." I didn't forget to indicate the amount of fertilizer. I follow what was requested the last time and successfully requested it. The ES person replied that we can get the fertilizer at 8:30 am even though they open at 10am. To much of my delight, it was successful! But then, I re-read the email....

"We need 20kg of UREA (46-0-0)"

So I stopped writing my email for updates to the team and think... Is Complete fertilizer different from UREA? I asked everyone I know who is helping us in RS4 and IT IS! OMG! 

But Thank God, we can just request another and cancelled our previous fertilizer request. :)

Blooper #3: Face-off with a field rat!

It says it all. I saw a rat that might be the one eating our rice plant :(