Impressed with its good crop performance and nutritional benefits, Isabela farmers are looking forward for the commercialization of the Malusog Rice.

DA-PhilRice Isabela harvested Golden Rice, now officially called Malusog Rice, in October to November in Cagayan Valley.

Isabela farmers who are active partners in the program are delighted to have been part of a momentous event. Seed growers and farmer cooperatives have expressed their excitement over the on-going propagation of Malusog Rice, which they hope to be available soon for commercialization.

“After harvesting, I want to plant it again, but seeds are not available yet in the market. I am hoping it becomes available soon because it is not only nutritious but also easy to grow,” said Ronnie Obra, farmer-cooperator from Saguday, Quirino.

Milled Malusog Rice will soon be distributed to partner organizations and individuals. It has been taste-tested during the National Rice Awareness Month Golden Breakfast contest on Nov. 18 and the culminating on Nov. 28 at Cagayan State University.

Fernando Garcia, project field test supervisor, stressed that Malusog Rice is grown like any regular rice. Cultural management practices involve seedling preparation, transplanting, and water management follows the PalayCheck System for irrigated lowland rice throughout the planting season.

It undergoes the conventional ways of farming, assuring farmers and other stakeholders that it requires no special care. Malusog is a unique variety of rice as it was bred to address vitamin A deficiency, a prevalent problem among Filipinos. It has an incidence rate of 15.5%, affecting about 2 million Filipino children under the age of five. While unique, it was reported that it tastes similarly to regular white rice. Its major plus is that it contains beta-carotene that the body metabolizes into vitamin A.

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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