Written by the Web Team
An official of the Department of Agriculture had commended the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in the implementation of the National Year of Rice (NYR2013), which had reached about 51.5M Filipinos.
Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, undersecretary for special concerns, said NYR2013 has been “successful in raising awareness not only on the department’s initiatives to increase rice productivity and farmers` income but in uniting all sectors for rice self-sufficiency and export of premium rice.”
Puyat, who led the recent CelebRICE: A night for the RICEponsibles in Manila, said that the campaign had built a strong foundation for the agriculture industry, ensuring continuous productivity.
However, she admitted that the department`s confidence is dampened by climate change, which she said is also agriculture`s biggest threat.
“We may not be able to control when and where typhoons will hit or when droughts will occur. But we have to make sure that production is stable and that farmers are earning from their crop,” she said.
Puyat also lauded PhilRice for being successful in informing the public about agriculture programs, disseminating better farming practices, promoting other crops that may be alternatives to rice such as corn and cassava, and lobbying measures to reduce rice wastage.
CelebRICE: A night for the RICEponsibles had gathered more than a hundred NYR 2013 supporters who expressed their continued assistance in promoting a “RICEponsible Philippines” or a country with responsible rice consumers.
In a document signifying their continued support, partners from the private and public sector stated that they will they will explore potential avenues that will encourage the public to reduce rice wastage, eat brown rice and rice-mixes, and value the hard work of rice farmers.
Believing that “rice is life,” partners in, among others, the academe, food industry, media, health and agriculture-related agencies, and telecom companies, the partners promised to do their share in informing every Filipino of their responsibility in helping achieve a rice self-sufficient country.