MASIPAG’s Trials farms have a minimum of 50 Traditional Rice Varieties and MASIPAG rice, and are living community seedbanks. Farmers study and select adaptive varieties from the trial farms and design cultural management practices suited to their particular agro-climatic conditions.
The farmers observe the characteristics of the different varieties and selections to assess them for suitability to the local environmental conditions and pest resistance. The top ten performing locally adapted varieties are then chosen for planting.
An important spin-off from the community level organizing is that the mosaic effect of the different neighbouring varieties creates a barrier to pests and diseases because of the differential resistance between varieties. The trial farm involves no cost to the farmers except for the collective work required for its maintenance. By planting several varieties on their farms, farmers also benefit from the different rates of plant maturity. Harvest is spread over a longer period allowing the farmer to spread out the work, rather than having to hire in costly outside labor.#