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Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Sec. Mario G. Montejo encouraged the rice sector to be smart during the recent 25th National Rice Research and Development Conference held at Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva, Ecija.

“The industry must overcome constraints on rice production such as inadequate supply of quality seeds, prevalence of post-production and post-harvest losses, and high dependence on fossil fuel,” he challenged about 500 conference participants.

To be smart, Montejo asked workers in the rice sector to “seek S&T-based solutions, move fast, and act locally.” He also reminded them to “respect nature and think of your goal at all times.”

Montejo stressed that solutions grounded on science and technology yielded positive results. However, he said that providing solutions may not be enough as they must also be timely.

He said that location-specific technologies must be further developed and that green technologies are essential to help farmers adapt to and mitigate climate change.

Montejo informed the science community that the Rice Seed project between PhilRice and Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development contributes on helping save the environment as it increases rice yield by 10-15 percent without additional external input.

“By addressing rice production constraints, and by [being smart], we are confident that we can enough rice to feed our people,” he said.

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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