The following article was published on Rappler.com on November 13 regarding the beneficial role carrageenan can play for Filipino rice farming
Seaweed additive can boost rice yield by 65% – gov’t scientists
According to the article, research funded by the Filipino Government has shown that carrageenan can increase the productivity of rice cultivation. Carrageenan, a carbohydrate found in edible seaweeds, was found to increase rice yield by 63.6% to 65.4%, according to scientists from the National Crop Protection Center (NCPC) at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, the country’s premiere agricultural school. A field trial showed that the addition of small portions of carrageenan to fertilizer led to higher grain weight, which increased the rice yields. The study also found that the addition of 20 milliliters per liter of carrageenan to 3 to 6 bags of fertilizer per hectare led to an increased grain weight of 450 and 455 grams, in comparison to the 275 grams of grain weight produced through traditional Filipino farming practices. The decreased amount of fertilizer needed when using carrageenan could lead to bigger savings for farmers. The research was funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology.
The article noted previous studies which showed degraded carrageenan promotes growth in rice plants and provides pest resistance, therefore acting as an effective natural fertilizer in small doses. These findings could also impact other agricultural workers, specifically seaweed farmers, by boosting demand for the substance.