The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is helping create a better agriculture industry through communication support to the policy-makers.
Myriam G. Layaoen, lead of the Science-Based Policies in Advancing Rice Communities (SPARC) program, said that the Institute is assisting policy makers in crafting policies through information materials launched on April 27 in the Department of Agriculture (DA) compound, Quezon City.
“These materials published data derived from PhilRice-conducted studies across the country, which guide the decision-makers in formulating policies benefiting the farmers. The key points and call for action will further enhance their understanding on urgent issues affecting our rice growers,” Layaoen said.
Layaoen said the materials also inform legislation and program planning to improve the competitiveness of the Filipino rice farmers and the country’s rice industry.
Among the materials launched was a book titled, “Comparative Efficiency of Rice Farming in Asia and the Philippines. The 120-page book highlights the current efficiency status of Philippine rice farming in comparison to other Asian major rice-producing countries. It showed that Philippine farming is behind in terms of rice yield compared to its neighboring countries. This book also discussed the different factors that can help the country achieve higher yield, reduce production costs, and improve efficiency.
The knowledge materials also include the impact of TRAIN Law to the rice farmers, advantages of investing in hybrid rice, and effect of mechanization on farmers’ competitiveness. They also address questions on how the Philippines can improve its rice competitiveness; is PH rice ready to compete at least regionally, and how can rice trade liberalization affect producers and consumers.
About 200 students, policy makers, government officials, media, researchers, development workers, representatives from the academe, and officials from PhilRice, DA, and Agricultural Training Institute attended the activity.
SPARC program, which led the production of knowledge materials, is part of the National Rice R4D programs for 2018-2022. It focuses on the creation and strengthening of “science-based and supportive policy environment” that will foster sound decisions on rice-related issues to help farmers reduce farm labor costs, narrow yield gaps, have easier access to farm credit.