Proper selection of sugarcane
varieties to be used is important in attaining higher production
and profitability in sugarcane farming. The use of high-yielding
varieties (HYVs) has been regarded as the cheapest and the most
environmentally friendly approach to higher productivity.
More varieties have been developed
and released already by both the Sugar Regulatory Administration
(formerly the Philippine Sugar Institute (PHILSUGIN) and the
Victorias Milling Company (VMC), which is now under the supervision
of PHILSURIN thru its Research and Development. Among the varieties
released by VMC, VMC 86-550 is highly favored by growers because
of its stable high sugar content, self-trashiness and erectness.
For SRA released, Phil 7464 has gained acceptance not only in
Luzon but also in Visayas due to its vigorous growth and high
tonnage (Phil. Recommends).
Earlier released varieties were
phased out and replaced by newer ones that are better yielder
and more resistant to diseases. Table 1 shows the recently released
sugarcane varieties developed by SRA and VMC and their characteristics.
It can be noted however, that
of the more than 20 varieties currently planted nationwide (Table
2), not even one of the above new varieties have reached yet
the producer. Majority of the varieties planted by farmers are
still those released in the 70s and 80s. According to the report
of task force PATDAN, more than 80% of the sugarcane area is
planted to SRA bred varieties while about 8% are planted to VMC
bred and released varieties.
In Bicol, currently planted
sugarcane varieties are those released in the 70's and 80's.
Majority of the sugarcane areas (about 40%) is planted to Phil
6607, locally referred to by planters as James bond and about
13% still practiced the use of mixed varieties (Table 3).
In an effort to upgrade the
existing plantations, local SRA office at San Agustin, Pili has
dispersed eleven (11) High Yielding Varieties (HYV) from Victoria
Milling Corporation (VMC) and Balayan MDCC to selected farmers
(Table 4). In support to this project, the office has identified
also strategic nursery sites and leased it for the rapid propagation
of HYVs under the Accelerated Nursery and Distribution Program
(ANDP). At present, a total of 8 nurseries with total aggregate
area of 9 hectares are now operational in the municipalities
of Pili, Ocampo, Bula, Goa and Naga City.
The nurseries are managed and
operated by the selected cooperators, usually cooperatives with
large number of memberships. Planting materials for each nursery
were provided by MCDC, free of charge on a condition that 25%
of their first cutback will be re-distributed to their qualified
members. The same agreement is employed for succeeding beneficiaries.