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R4D ConferenceA Professor from the UP School of Economics (UPSE) supported the need to invest in agricultural R&D to help achieve rice competitiveness during the 30th National Rice R4D Conference held at PhilRice, September 5.

“The goal to attain a competitive rice economy by 2022, as stated in the PhilRice strategic plan 2017-2022, through cutting-edge agriculture innovations guided by science-based and supportive policies is consistent with the broader objective –increasing growth potential under the Philippine development plan 2017-2022,” Dr. Emmanuel F. Esguerra of UPSE said.

Esguerra explained that producing rice in the Philippines is more expensive than in our neighboring exporting countries such as Vietnam and Thailand. Some of the factors that contribute to the higher cost of rice production include labor cost and machinery, low yield per hectare, and high marketing costs.

“High prices harm poor Filipino households more than anyone else. These households spend around 20% of their incomes on rice alone,” Esguerra said.

He recognized that the conference, which highlights the role of rice science and innovation for attaining competitiveness and inclusive growth, is on its right path.

There is also a need to understand the reasons for rice farmers in choosing a certain technology.

“Technological adoption is a tricky business that requires the collective wisdom of science and social science communities in the service of the farmers, in the service of the Filipino nation,” he said.

The conference is an annual event conducted by PhilRice to serve as an avenue to acquire and exchange knowledge and experiences on rice R4D to address current issues and emerging problems besetting the rice industry, through paper and poster presentations, and field tours.

 

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute