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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pollinating Beras Titih variety still problem for farmers

Penghulu of Mukim Pengkalan Batu Hj Tahir Hj Tarif said recently that farmers are facing
problems in an effort to planting Brunei’s first hybrid rice variety namely Beras Titih

Khai Zem Mat Sani

FARMERS are facing problems in an effort to planting Brunei’s first hybrid rice variety namely Beras Titih, especially in terms of pollinating the species, says Penghulu of Mukim Pengkalan Batu.

Hj Tahir Hj Tarif told The Brunei Times that hybrid rice is produced by crossbreeding different kinds of rice, and there is a lot of obstacles in planting the padi as farmers have to do it manually in terms of pollinating process.

“We started planting the Beras Titih strain in 2012; pollination is a main concern for farmers as it is difficult to maintain pollinator populations of the padi. However, if pollination is successful, it  will generate a lot of rice,” said Hj Tahir.

He said that if the pollination fails to occur, farmers have to do it manually by using stick and shake the pollen parent (Self or hand pollination). “It's really time consuming and more people are needed when we do it manually.

“Besides hand-pollination, farmers also can apply plant hormones for the pollination of the padi. However, the price of the hormone is very expensive in which one kilogramme cost more than $100,000.

“The Beras Titih strain can only be planted once and typically there is no second generation that can be used for the next plantation activities,” he said.

He went on to say about the benefits of the Beras Titih. “It’s better than Padi Laila as it can produce higher yields and it’s resistant to disease as well as can survive without sufficient amount of water.”

“The Beras Titih strain has been planted at 0.7 hectares twice before. It produced more than seven to 10 metric tonnes. Meanwhile, other beras type can only produce at least four to six tonnes,” said Hj Tahir.

He said that with a good management and planting procedure, it would produce good result of rice in terms of its taste, quality and quantity.

Hj Tahir also talked about the pest issues that they faced.

“It is suggested to not focus on one type of padi for a long time. We need to plant different types of padi once in a while to avoid pests developing their homes in the padi area,” he said, adding that, different types of padi attract different pests.

Last year, the minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong told The Brunei Times that it’s important for farmers to choose and plant the best padi seeds that can produce more rice or a higher yield, as this can directly contribute to the nation’s revenue.

“Anyone who is involved in this field needs to improve their productivity by collaborating with each other. This can indirectly help increase and improve padi production,” he said.

“Currently one farmer is handling one hectare of land; actually one farmer can handle more than that.

“For example, five farmers to handle 10 hectares, this can reduce the labour cost, it doesn’t matter local or foreigners as long as we can reduce the labour cost through collaborative efforts,” he said.

Sumber - The Brunei Times

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