Bayer distributes hybrid rice to Yolanda-hit farmers


Posted at Jan 22 2014 02:31 PM | Updated as of Jan 22 2014 10:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Bayer CropScience is distributing P7 million worth of hybrid rice Arize H64 to farmers in Leyte and Samar affected by typhoon “Yolanda” as part of the rehabilitation efforts in these areas.

The crop science firm said 20 metric tons of Arize H64 worth will be donated to more than 1,000 farmers as start-up rice seed input.

This volume can cover 1,300 hectares of rice fields.

"We believe that the faster they can start planting rice, the better for them as it will help take their minds away from the disaster and start rebuilding their lives," said Bayer CropScience Managing Director Hans-Joachim Wegfarht.

Bayer CropScience Head for Seeds Recher Ondap, meanwhile, said the program also aims to help farmers start with their rebuilding process and to become self-reliant.

The hybrid rice Arize H64 seed variety has a shorter maturity period with long and slender grains.

Bayer said test trials showed that Arize H64 could be harvested 10 days earlier or in 100 to 105 days, which helps rice farmers who want to raise their yield and income.

"With a crop that matures faster, farmers will have the option of planting the next crop which is in between the cropping seasons. It is also less risky during normal planting seasons because you could avoid the extreme weather conditions," said Bayer CropScience Business Development Manager for Seeds Pete Pascual, Jr.

Bayer earlier donated P5.8 million to the German Red Cross and around P23.5 million worth of medicines to the Philippine Red Cross.

The firm also launched a global employee donation drive for a reconstruction project in the affected provinces. The drive generated P16 million, which Bayer matched.