During the opening ceremony of the 29th National Rice R&D Conference held at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), DA Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo Serrano recognized the technologies developed by Filipino researchers but emphasized the importance of technologies’ accessibility.
“The only thing that’s very important in order for us to move is not the amount of points that you, scientists, gain from winning prizes in your research papers, conferences, and accomplishments. You have to get the technology to the people on the ground,” Serrano said.
In solving the problems of the rice industry, he advised the country’s top researchers and scientists to be more innovative by “thinking out of the box but not completely out of the universe” and explore not only the current technological and scientific environment but also future scenarios.
“We need a breakthrough so that we are able to produce new platforms of technology that are more productive and more sustainable than the ones that we have done before,” Serrano explained to over 500 participants of the conference.
He also emphasized the need to prioritize programs and projects that can extend better service to the Filipino farmers.
Citing the hundreds of varieties developed, Serrano said, “I understand that we are archipelagic. We have so many environments for rice but we have to concentrate and focus on areas where varieties could really make a difference.”
Serrano then advised the officials of the Institute to strategically plan its projects and programs to ensure their relevance.
He also hopes the conference would help scientists come up with a common resolution about the future of the rice industry.
The National Rice R&D Conference is annually hosted by PhilRice that gathers researchers, academicians, students, farmers, and extension workers from all over the country. It is the most significant scientific gathering that opens avenues to discuss and challenge ideas and technologies concerning the country’s rice R&D.