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Ronilo A. Beronio, executive director of Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), maintains optimism that the country could hit its goal of producing enough rice with the innovations and initiatives on research, development, and extension (RD&E), which contribute 40 percent to rice self-sufficiency.

“As far as RD&E is concerned, technology components and [other social aspects] are well-covered. With the accomplishments in rice R&D during the past 25 years, we can bet very hard,” Beronio said.

To satisfy the 40 percent contribution of the rice industry, Beronio further challenged the RD&E sector during the 24th National Rice R&D Conference, March 16-18, at the PhilRice Central Experiment Station.

Highlighting varieties, machines, and farming practices such as Palayamanan and PalayCheck that were developed, tested, and improved to suit farmers’ needs, the three-day event also produced outstanding studies in best paper and poster presentations.

PhilRice Engineer Arnold S. Juliano’s paper, Development of a mobile ricehull gasifier engine-pump system, won the best paper award under the theme Strategies to mitigate impacts of and adapt to climate change, and other emerging problems besetting the rice industry.  He said the local gasifier system, which is compact, mobile, and affordable, was developed to help farmers reduce production cost and minimize the environmental hazards of rice hull.

Under the theme Socio-economics, impact assessment, policy, and market, Enhancing rice productivity and self-sufficiency in Romblon (Phase 1) of Leonardo A. Gonzales from STRIVE foundation, was adjudged best paper. His findings showed that farmer beneficiaries across the Location Specific Technology Development (LSTD) project sites in four municipalities illustrated marked improvements in terms of yield, efficiency in farm and wholesale level costs, net farm and wholesale incomes, food subsistence and poverty level carrying capacities, rice self-sufficiency, and global competitiveness after project implementation.

Moreover, the study, Using cellphone-based survey forms for PhilRice field data collection presented by Arturo C. Arocena Jr. from PhilRice, won the best paper award under the theme Technology promotion and delivery for narrowing the yield gap. Arocena said cellular phone-based survey forms can deliver structured datasets that can either replace or integrate with the existing paper-based process.

The posters, Improvement of brown rice cooking and eating quality through soaking and light polishing by Henry Corpuz, et.al., from PhilRice,  Assessment of poverty and food insecurity incidence among farmers participating in the LSTD program by Charis Mae Tolentino, et. al. from PhilRice, New PhilRice-bred varieties for commercial cultivation in saline-prone areas by PhilRice`s breeders Martha Chico, et.al., and Assessing the effectiveness of the PalayCheck flipchart as a tool in promoting rice production technologies to farmers won the best posters.

Best poster awardees received P7,000 each while P15,000 were given to best paper awardees.

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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