Seedworks Philippines and BASF form partnership to bring new herbicide-tolerant rice

BASF partners with leading seed company, Seedworks Philippines  Inc. to bring new herbicide-tolerant rice system technologies to rice farmers in Philippines. 

BASF to offer Clearfield Production System and Provisia Rice System  to Philippines – two herbicide-tolerant seed traits that can be used in  direct seeded rice hybrid systems as an alternative to paddy rice.

Farmers benefit from lower labor costs, lower use of water for irrigation and excellent control of a broad range of weeds – including resistant  grasses, weedy rice, and red rice.

BASF and Seedworks Philippines Inc. today  announced the formalization of new licensing agreements for BASF Clearfield® Production System and Provisia® Rice System technologies that will meet the  increasing need of direct seeded rice farming method in the Philippines.  

Agriculture is not only impacted by climate change, but also responsible for 17%* of  total greenhouse gas emissions. Transplanted wet paddy rice farming is a major  contributor of field emissions of methane (CH4). The water irrigated fields block  oxygen from penetrating the soil, creating ideal conditions for bacteria that are  responsible for emitting greenhouse gases.  

As part of BASF Climate Smart farming efforts, and in addition to helping farmers  control tough weeds, such as resistant grassy weeds and weedy rice, this new  licensing agreement between BASF and Seedworks will see both companies  working together to develop and commercialize new non-GMO Herbicide Tolerant  hybrid rice (direct seeded) systems to increase both productivity and sustainability for rice growers in the Philippines.

“Rice is a primary source of food for us in Asia. There is an estimated 2.4 million  rice growers in the Philippines, with a total acreage of 4.8 million hectares and with  up to 36%** of rice grown via direct seeded option versus wet paddy. Direct seeded  rice uses roughly 50% less water to grow, uses less labor per day compared to wet  paddy.” said Simone Barg, Senior Vice President, Agricultural Solutions, Asia  Pacific. “With our new partner, Seedworks Philippines Inc., BASF is dedicated to  support farmers to decrease their environmental impact and improve farm  resilience. Through our innovative rice solutions of Clearfield and Provisia, two  herbicide-tolerant seed traits will be introduced to Philippine’s direct seeded rice  hybrid systems. By providing an alternative to wet paddy rice, and providing a more  advanced option for current direct seeded rice farmers, Filipino rice farmers now  gain the benefit of excellent weed control, a reduced footprint of greenhouse gas  emissions and a potential increase of their rice crop yield” 

Carlos Saplala, President of Seedworks Philippines, Inc. commented that “Food  security issue in the Philippines has never been more relevant than today. Helping  farmers leverage on this world class technology will not only improve their yields but  also their income. We also expect that underutilized areas in the country due to  weedy rice will be better maximized through the use of this Clearfield and Provisia  technology. This will also redound to helping the current administration’s objective  of offering rice at a more affordable price.” 

“SeedWorks’ mission is to strive to provide Seed Solutions more than just selling  seeds, I am very delighted with this collaboration with BASF bringing in H.T. Tolerant  Rice lines, which is in line with our mission. Together we can help the Filipino farmer  optimize his cost of cultivation, improve farm productivity and increase his income  from the same land. Rice is a staple diet in the Philippines and we are happy that  this project is one more step towards addressing the issue of making the Philippines  self-sufficient in rice.” said Dr. Venkatram Vasantavada, SeedWorks Philippines,  Inc. Chairman and Managing Director of SeedWorks International. 

“Farming is the biggest job on earth, and food security is an important topic for the  Philippines. Our government, like many other nations, continues in seeking long term solutions for how our growers can increase yields, decrease environmental  impact, and enhance farming robustness. BASF’s Clearfield and Provisia rice  systems enable more productive and sustainable farming – key levers identified by  the United Nations and incorporated in their Sustainable Development Goals. As a leader in agricultural solutions for growers globally, BASF made this a priority and committed to clear and measurable targets to boost sustainable agriculture by 2030. With this licensing agreement and the steps that Seedworks will take to cultivate the  hybrids for the Phillipine rice industry, we are very optimistic about the future of  achieving more sustainable rice farming, with greater weed control, in the  Philippines” said Manolo Sambrano, BASF Industry Head, Agriculture -Philippines. 

Clearfield and Provisia rice systems by BASF are non-GM crop technologies for rice  production developed with traditional plant-breeding techniques. The innovation is  best understood as an integration of seed traits and chemistry. The herbicide tolerant traits allow farmers to control a range of weeds through an easy, over-the top application of a targeted ALS-inhibiting herbicide without harming the rice crop.  In addition, together they form an integrated weed management tool for farmers and  offer farmers a vital tool in fighting weeds, while remaining compatible with no-till  methods, that help preserve topsoil. For more information, visit 



**Philippine Statistics Authority, 2018-2020