Farmers in the rainfed lowland farms in the Philippines cultivating a total of 1.5 million hectares will benefit from the breeding efforts at PhilRice Midsayap as PhilRice plant breeders have already produced 10 advanced elite lines for favorable rainfed conditions. These advanced elite lines are called Raelines.
In Mindanao alone, some 231,444 hectares of rainfed lowlands are planted to rice and farmers are experiencing lots of problems like tungro infestation. In many of these rainfed farms, farmers practice asynchronous planting due to unpredictable availability of water.
The bigger issue, however, is all varieties thus far released for rainfed lowland cultivation by the former Philippine Seed Board (PSB) and now the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) are susceptible to tungro, a very serious disease of rice. Thus, PhilRice breeders have focused their breeding efforts on the development of more adaptable rainfed varieties with tungro resistance.