A new japonica rice variety is getting popular among rice farmers in Pilar town of Bohol. It’s because this type of rice is of high quality and commands a premium price, especially in countries where it is not traditionally grown, including the Philippines.
This rice is now popularly known as Maligaya Special 11 or MS 11, which is also known as NSIC Rc170 and IRRI 142. And the good thing is that this japonica rice can now be grown in the Philippines’ tropical climate.
MS 11 is one of the new tropical japonica rice varieties that resulted from a pilot project called Germplasm Utilization for Value Added undertaken by Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA) coordinating scientists at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Laguna from 1992 up to the present. The project aims to develop high-quality, high-yielding temperate japonica rice cultivars that can adapt and grow in the tropical condition.
Fortunately, the Philippines has been one of the eight countries where adaptability tests for MS 11 were conducted. Local adaptation tests involved the Department of Agriculture (DA), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), and the Benguet State University in La Trinidad, Benguet.