Granma.– With the purpose of contributing to the sustainability of the Cuban rice program in the midst of the material deficiencies that currently limit its development, the Fernando Echenique grain agro-industrial company, the largest producer of the grass in this eastern province, has ventured during the present year in sowing seeds for rice outside the growing season.
The experience, which is carried out for the first time in areas of the La Gabina base business unit (UEB), belonging to Fernando Echenique, is part of the Cuba-Vietnam collaboration project, through which the introduction, outside the ideal productive cycle, of four short-cycle rice varieties (V1, V5, V6 and V7), whose behavior will determine new strategies for planting the grass.
Edisnel González Valdés, director of the company, explained that due to the difficulties this year with the availability of fuel and the tense energy situation in the country, it was not possible to materialize all the rice seed planting in the planned production cycle. Therefore, it was essential to look for new alternatives that would prevent the loss of those seeds.
For this, he specified, a study was carried out in conjunction with the Jucarito Territorial Grain Research Station aimed at evaluating the variables that could positively impact the yield of seed rice at a non-optimal time for its cultivation.
In this way, at the beginning of September, the experimental planting of ten hectares of rice for seed began in lot number nine of the UEB La Gabina, where the behavior of the four Vietnamese varieties is currently being evaluated and compared with two Cuban varieties: the LP5 and Reforma.
“Initially we saw this process as a necessity, and then as an opportunity to be able to evaluate the behavior of these rice varieties on non-optimal dates for sowing, taking into account weather changes and the fuel deficit,” stressed Valdés González.
The manager also said that this strategy aims to establish a productive process based on increasing planting campaigns (up to three in a year), which could reduce the areas to be cultivated, optimize the use of water for the irrigation, and increase yields.
Jorge Luis Martínez López, a specialist in Plant Health who is in charge of plot nine, added that the first harvest from these experimental areas is scheduled for next December, with an estimated yield of between 4.5 and five tons of rice. for seed per hectare.
According to the specialist, although to date the v5 variety is the most advanced, at the end of the harvest the seeds with the most suitable characteristics will be selected for their extension to other areas, both in the cooperative-farmer sector and in the fields. belonging to the state units of the company.