NextGen PLUS

Increasing Access to Adaptive Rice Varieties in the Philippines


The NextGen PLUS project was an initiative under the rice sector strategy of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) and jointly implemented by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). It used recent advances in plant breeding, such as the use of molecular biology, stratified multilocation testing (MAYT), and improved computational power to make the country’s rice breeding program more efficient.

This project has 3 major components:

      • 1st: Validation of provincial variety profiles and recommendation domains, and assessment of local seed access and delivery modalities.

      • 2nd: Development of new improved lines and identification of adaptive varieties:

          1. Line and variety augmentation

          2. Estimation of breeding values of PhilRice and IRRI breeding panels (Multilocation Advanced Yield Trials-MAYT)

          3. National Cooperative Test (NCT) for Hybrid Rice

          4. Participatory Performance Testing and Validation (PPTV)

      • 3rd: Development of accelerated variety delivery support mechanisms, such as:

        1. Basic seed production

        2. Techno-Demo cum Seed Production (support to local seed systems (formal, informal) for adaptive varieties)

        3. Capacity enhancement of Partners at the National (training, breeding facility improvement) and Regional (training, knowledge product development for promotion of adaptive varieties) levels

Project highlights

With the support of the DA-Regional Field Offices and their LGU partners, the deployment of newly released varieties can be fast-tracked to raise farmers’ yields and bridge the gap between the local rice production and consumption.

CARDINES_NextGen Rice Final.mp4

Developing better varieties

    • PhilRice and IRRI continuously work hand-in-hand using various strategies to develop better and improved varieties within a shorter span of time.

    • Variety augmentation is being utilized to improve pest tolerance and disease resistance of popular high yielding varieties such as NSIC Rc216, NSIC Rc402 and NSIC Rc440.

Technology transfer and variety promotion through IECs (printed materials, AVP and social media)

  • Most regional partners promote adaptive varieties through printed materials such as flyers, pamphlets and posters. Likewise, most publish their activities and promotions through Facebook as this is one of the most accessible platforms for information dissemination.

  • Identified adaptive varieties are promoted in DA-RFO 2 via publications and calendars- “Into the Frontlines”, “Makabagong Pagsasaka” and “Kalendaryo ng Mga Magsasaka at Mangingisda”

  • DA-RFO 10 published a 12-page booklet entitled, “Next Generation Rice Varieties”, to disseminate information on newly released adaptive varieties in their region.

  • In Region 11, aside from booklets and flyers that are distributed during field days, trainings, and other rice-related events, an audio-visual presentation was also created to promote the project and its results. In addition to Facebook, the Agricultural Research Division of Davao also used another social media platform, Tiktok, as a fun way to engage their LGU partners and farmers through the “Tiktok Challenge”.

Leveraging data

  • PPTV results are utilized by DA as reference data on regional adaptive varieties for priority provinces for planning seed production and distribution under RCEF

  • Recommended varieties are integrated into other DA-BAR funded projects and also in other regional projects like Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) in Region 1 as part of their technology intervention in the rainfed areas in Ilocos Norte. Other regions used their recommended varieties as materials in their various studies such as cost and return analyses, rice production methods and practices, nutrient management and on-farm verification trials.

Commercialization of improved varieties

  • The Techno Demo cum Seed Production is a strategy introduced by the project to initiate the process of variety promotion and commercialization through integration in local seed systems (both formal and informal seed systems). In 2021, the Techno Demo cum Seed Production was conducted in 12 regions for a total of 21 adaptive varieties for various ecosystems via the formal and informal seed systems. In 2021, fourteen (14) varieties for irrigated lowland, 1 variety for saline-prone areas and 1 variety for rainfed, drought-prone ecosystem were showcased and commercialized by BPI-accredited seed growers (formal seed system) while 5 varieties for irrigated lowland, 2 glutinous special purpose rice varieties, and 1 variety for rainfed, drought -prone ecosystem were showcased in ricefields of trained seed producers (informal seed system). The estimated total production from these techno-demo cum seed production were 120,099.6 tons for the formal seed system and 53.6 tons for the informal seed system.

  • Commercialization of adaptive varieties especially for adverse conditions to alleviate the problem in rainfed, drought-prone and saline-prone ecosystems in the regional level:

      • Commercialization of NSIC Rc480 in Region 2 to improve yields in rainfed, drought-prone ecosystems while strengthening the seed system and buffer stock for adverse rice varieties.

      • Region 11 implemented a local program on the upscaling of rice-based technologies in a 100-hectare demo area with 129 farmers in Tagum City, showcasing adaptive varieties identified from NextGen PPTV trials: NSIC Rc 436 for irrigated fields, and NSIC Rc 480 and NSIC Rc 27 for rainfed, drought-prone rice fields. The demo also featured a foliar fertilizer derby, in partnership with a private company, using the variety NSIC Rc 436.


To provide regional partners with a sustainable training platform, the NextGen PLUS project and IRRI Education, together with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) of DA, developed and piloted an e-learning course on the Basics of Participatory Performance Testing and Validation. DA ATI will pursue the rollout of the e-learning course in the regions.

Project Outcomes

Through the PPTV, there is better-informed decision-making on location-specific variety recommendations.

      1. Farmers are more aware of the varieties suited to their area;

      2. Increased adoption of recommended adaptive varieties; and

      3. The use of identified adaptable varieties improved production performance in the provinces and regions.

    • The techno-demo cum seed production is a modality introduced by the NextGen PLUS Project to catalyze local seed systems (formal and informal) and enhance access by farmers to high quality seeds of recommended adaptive varieties.

    • Strengthened collaboration and coordination with the Bureau of Plant Industry National Seed Quality Control Services (BPI-NSQCS), National Seed Network members, seed growers, the DA Regional Field Offices (DA RFOs), provincial and municipal government units, and the farmers.


Ways Forward

Sustainability plan

  • Institutionalization of regional NextGen activities in close collaboration with PLGUs/MLGUs through the DA memo supporting regional NextGen sustainability plans with regular budget support through the regional rice program: PPTV (RM trials, preference analysis, sensory evaluation); continuing capacity development of provincial and municipal partners; variety promotion and dissemination.

  • The next users of the project are as follows:

    • DA (provision of reference data on regional adaptive varieties for priority provinces for planning seed production and distribution under RCEF)

    • BPI, DA-RFO, Selected formal/informal seed growers (coordination for the planning and conduct of regional Techno demo cum seed production activities)

    • DA-RFOs and PLGU/MLGU

    • Rice farmers

Online Resources

DA - IRRI2016 - 2021