Germplasm Collection and Varietal Evaluation of Heirloom Rice Landraces in Benguet, Philippines

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Belinda A. Tad-awan Hector C. Gayomba Teresita D. Masangcay Jasmin M. Chomawat Wilner S. Mauting

Abstract

Heirloom rice landraces are unique breeds of rice that are distinct from other rices in many characters. Heirloom rice is a principal crop planted in the rice terraces of Benguet and is now gaining momentum in the local and international market. Benguet province, an ethno society depicts an heirloom rice farming community which has preserved its rice landraces as demonstrated by its large production area. Documentation and germplasm collection was done in three major heirloom rice producing municipalities involving 330 heirloom rice farmers using a semi-structured questionnaire. Participatory evaluation of rice landraces with market potential was done with farmer-cooperators in three sites (Bakun, Kapangan, and Kibungan) where selection was done by other heirloom farmers during harvest. There were 82 rice landraces documented and collected in Bakun, Kapangan, and Kibungan. In the participatory evaluation and selection, the best landraces in each location based on yield, stability, and farmers’ preference are Brando, Lablabi and Lasbakan in Bakun; Sapaw, Balatinaw, and Bongkitan in Kapangan, and Balatinaw and Bongkitan in Kibungan.

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