Malusog Rice

Malusog Rice featured in national conferences of agriculturists and nutritionist-dietitians, receives overwhelming support

Malusog Rice is a unique product that embodies the marriage between agriculture and nutrition; it is a product of agricultural innovation with nutritional benefits. Support from both sectors are crucial in ensuring that Malusog Rice is able to deliver on its mission. To achieve this, the Malusog Rice Program consistently engages agriculturists, public health experts and nutritionists to keep them updated on the status of the program and to seek their support throughout the program’s evolving phases. Participation in their annual conferences is a strategic way to interact and hear the stakeholders’ feedback on the program.

On August 28 – September 1, 2023, Malusog Rice Program representatives participated in the 27th FPSAP Scientific Conference held in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. FPSAP is an umbrella federation of plant scientists’ professional associations. Dr. Marissa V. Romero, lead of the Demand Project of Malusog Rice, delivered a plenary talk titled “Development and Delivery of Malusog Rice to the Filipino Farmers and Consumers.” Ralph Homer Ante, science research specialist from the program’s Monitoring and Evaluation component, presented the highlights of the Survey on Stakeholders’ Knowledge, Acceptability, and Perspective (KAP) of Malusog Rice noting the low level of awareness among farmers, consumers, and potential partners. However, their memory recall of Malusog Rice improved upon learning that it is rich in beta carotene. Connecting its nutritional benefit facilitated their openness to acceptance of Malusog Ricer. Toni Almosara,  science research specialist from the Demand Project noted in her scientific poster that consumers in the province of Quirino liked the look and taste of Malusog Rice when they tried it.

Dr. Ronan G. Zagado, on September 15, 2023 during The 2nd International Conference on Development Communication and the 11th Scientific Meeting of ADCEP Philippines at the OVPREI RDE Hall, Visayas State University began the 3rd plenary discussion. Dr. Zagado emphasized the Department of Agriculture’s commitment not only to achieving food security but also nutrition security. He highlighted their focus on increasing rice self-sufficiency, recognizing rice as a staple food in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Dr. Zagado, Malusog Rice program lead, highlighted the role of Malusog Rice in attaining affordable and healthy diets during 2023 Philippine Society of Nutritionist-Dietitians’ (PSND) Annual Convention on September 27, 2023 held at the Winford Hotel in Manila. In a plenary presentation Zagado emphasized that while consumers have different rice varieties to choose from, having Malusog Rice included in the basket of options can help improve diets especially those who are at risk of vitamin A deficiency.  The convention was also a good venue to allow participants to taste cooked Malusog Rice for the first time. Overall there was positive feedback and participants expressed their interest in buying Malusog Rice as soon as it becomes available in the market.

Gladys May Cristobal, DA-PhilRice CES

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