Written by the Web Team
As the National Year of Rice (NYR2013) enters the last quarter of the year, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is calling for moves in 2014 to make the country`s rice economy competitive, sustainable, and resilient.
According to Dr. Manuel Regalado, PhilRice deputy executive director for research, the Philippines imported only 200,000 tons (t) of rice this year, which is relatively lower from the required buffer stock of 300,000t.
“If we consider the figure alone, we can say that we are more than rice self-sufficient,” Regalado said in a speech at the recent PhilRice Isabela Farmers` Field Day.
Given that rice self-sufficiency is possible, it is then appropriate to take the NYR2013 campaign to the next step as the call for next year, which according to Regalado, is for the country’s rice economy to be competitive by producing 10t/ha or more in a lower cost.
He said that this could be sustained by integrating other crops and livestock in rice farming and by making sure that farmers will be able to survive whatever natural calamities may occur.
For Gracia B. Amar, PhilRice Isabela acting branch manager, the field day encouraged farmers to become farm managers by managing their own field in a competitive, sustainable, and resilient manner.
The field day had the theme 10-Toneladang Kaalamaan sa Pagpapaunlad ng Palayan that showcased the Palayabangan: 10-5 Challenge.
“The Palayabangan demo fields show that increasing the rice yield in a low cost is really possible,” said Dr. Eduardo Jimmy P. Quilang, PhilRice deputy executive director for development.