United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Dr. Hilal Elver (second from left) visited PhilRice in Nueva Ecija to familiarize herself with the Institute’s initiatives in support to UN’s advocacy on food security, Feb. 24.
According to the Department of Agriculture Office of the Secretary, Elver is on a mission in the Philippines until February 27, 2015 to assess the efforts being made in the country to achieve food and nutrition security, and to come up with recommendations to enhance the programs undertaken by the government.
Elver believes that children, women, indigenous peoples, and other vulnerable sectors who have difficulty to access food or feed themselves should be prioritized in government programs.
PhilRice experts briefed her on various development programs such as the Rural Transformation Movement, Be Riceponsible, Infomediary campaign, and gender and development initiatives. Climate change research, organic farming, upland technology, utilization of high value-products, and updates on rice statistics were also discussed. Together with the DA team, Elver toured the Institute’s experiment station, rice science museum, and other agencies in the Science City of Muñoz.
During an entry meeting on Feb. 20, Elver also met the representatives of DENR, DILG, DOH, DA, DAR, NFA, and DSWD at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center in Quezon City. She was briefed on the Philippine government’s efforts to fight hunger and poverty. She will present her findings in a special report to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016.