Rice is the chief staple crop of the Philippines and annually the country harvests an average of 15.2 million metric tons of rice, leaving 11.3 million tons of rice straw to spare for productive use.
The Philippine based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) was instrumental in the launching of the 1970s ‘Green Revolution’ which helped millions of Asians achieve self sufficiency in rice, Asia’s staple crop.
A study conducted by the Manila based Institute showed that the yield of the IR8 rice variety also known as “miracle rice” had dropped to 7 tons per hectare from yields of 9.5 to 10.5 tons per hectare when it was first introduced.
The increased cost of energy dependent fertilizer and the need to conserve plant nutrients by recycling them have focused attention to organic material sources of fertilizers. One of the cheapest and most available organic substances is rice straw.