The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) started the construction of its seventh station at Bgry. Batang, Ligao City, Albay for farmers to be soon equipped with technologies and practices needed to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Soon to rise on a 25 ha-site in the country’s sixth largest rice producing region, PhilRice Bicol is envisioned to lead in the development of varieties and crop management technologies for adverse environments caused by climate change.
“[With the establishment of PhilRice in our region], we hope that this region will be rice self-sufficient and will be more capable of adapting to the impacts climate change,” Fernando V. Gonzales, representative of the third district of Albay and the project’s main proponent said during the station’s groundbreaking ceremony, March 25.
Studies conducted by The Centre for Initiatives and Research on Climate Adaptation, an agency founded by the government of Albay, revealed that climate change is already causing a “number of adverse impacts in the area, including the occurrence of more intense typhoons accompanied by more intense rainfall resulting to floods in Bicol.”
Engr. Artemio B. Vasallo, station’s office- in-charge, said PhilRice Bicol, formerly under the Institute’s station based in Los Baños, Laguna, will include Samar and Leyte on its coverage area when fully developed.
“[Aside from the coverage], the station may expand to 50 hectare. This station is also unique from the other six PhilRice stations because our research farm has piped irrigation system, a first for PhilRice,” Vasallo said.
Meanwhile, Atty. Ronilo A. Beronio and the province’s officials lowered the time capsule containing the building’s master plan, day’s newspaper edition, PhilRice souvenir items, and coins to the site’s grounds.