I want to leave a legacy by creating a new variety to help other farmers in my barangay and even those from other municipalities and provinces and, hopefully, other countries who are also wishing for good varieties...
-- Ruperta Mangaya-ay
Zamora, Bilar, Bohol
Patience Breeds Success
The story of Ruperta Mangaya-Ay of Bohol, Philippines
Ruperta Mangaya-Ay is a 61 year old widow with six children. With the help of her youngest son who graduated with a degree in agriculture, she maintains a farm which is the family’s main source of livelihood. Although farming helped send her children to school, it barely provided for their basic needs. Production inputs were costly, so was the cost of labor. This made her realize that drastic measures were needed in order to keep the farm working.
Armed with a little knowledge on rice breeding acquired from her parents and school, Mrs. Mangaya-Ay trained under a Farmer Field School on Plant Genetic Resources (FFS-PGR). Her participation was made possible through the collaboration of the Community Biodiversity Development and Conservation (CBDC) project and the Central Visayas State College of Agriculture, Forestry and Technology (CVSACFT), a local academic institution based in her barangay.
Right after graduation, she began developing a variety that was high-yielding, resistant to pests and diseases and lodging, and with high tillering ability, good eating quality, and big grains. To achieve this, she conducted two types of crossbreeding. First, she crossbred MB variety (mother) to CC 13-3-4-3 (father); and second, CC13-3-4-3 (mother) with MB (father). The successful breeding of MB with CC13-3-4-3, and CC13-3-4-3 with MB produced 31 first (F1) generation seeds. However, she did not do selection work from the first to the fourth generation (F1-F4), as she mixed all the seeds that had formed: the F1 from MB with CC and the F1 from CC with MB. It was only on the fifth (F5) generation that she started selection with the same characteristics.
At present, Mrs. Mangaya-Ay already has a stable variety from the breeding she conducted, which she calls RR Red. The first R was taken from her name and the second R from one of the technical staff of SEARICE who taught her how to breed.
Apart from breeding work, she also performed off-type and participatory variety selections from which she got her other variety from the OM varieties of Vietnam. Presently, both varieties are at production level and are being planted all over her village. Aside from breeding her own variety, she also grows selection and breeding materials using organic inputs, thereby minimizing the cost of production on both seeds and chemical fertilizers. Her organic rice produce is sold at a premium price based on prevailing rates in the community. Her efforts are paying off as she has become well-known for her grains and seeds that have aromatic and good eating qualities.
Today, Mrs. Mangaya-Ay is not only socially empowered but also economically uplifted through her persistence and patience in rice breeding and selection.