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An official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said the National Year of Rice (NYR) 2013 must go beyond public’s commitment to help the country meet rice self-sufficiency.

In his commitment message during the recent NYR 2013’s National Commitment Day at  Liwasang Aurora of the Quezon Memorial Circle, undersecretary for field operations Joel Rudinas said NYR 2013 is “everybody’s devotion.”

NYR 2013 is advocacy campaign that aims to promote responsible rice consumption for better health and less rice wastage and productive farming through the promotion of efficient rice technologies and inspiring farmers to produce more rice.

“We pledge to be ‘RICEponsible’ to reinforce what we have been promoting some months ago – eat brown rice and other sources of carbohydrates and reduce rice wastage. [This 27th EDSA Anniversary], we make a ‘blood compact’ with our commitment to be ‘RICEponsible’,” Rudinas said to the more than 1,500 employees of the Department of Agriculture, including its bureaus and attached agencies.

In a press statement released by DA, the Philippines will soon enter the global rice market as an exporter of fancy, colored, and organic rice varieties.

This year, the country will initially ship 10 MT of traditional rice varieties bound for Macau and Hong Kong. The initial shipment will come from the Cordillera region and Quezon province.

DA assistant secretary and national rice program coordinator Dante Delima said “more Filipino farmers are now capable of producing quality premium, colored, and organic varieties, and the DA was able to help them increase their production during the last two years.”

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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