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With two years left to hit the country’s goal of rice self-sufficiency, the 24th National Rice Research and Development (R&D) Conference being conducted at Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, March 16-18, focuses on optimizing the accomplishments in rice research and development during the past 25 years.

Being hosted by Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the three-day conference provides opportunities on charting more doable solutions in achieving enough rice for the Filipinos.

With theme, Optimizing 25-year R&D Achievements to Help the Country Achieve Rice Self-Sufficiency in 2013, the conference gathered more than 600 researchers and rice advocates.

Among the accomplishments being highlighted include rice varietal and farm machine development, PalayCheck and Palayamanan Systems implementation, and results from impact and policy researches.

The Food Staples Self-Sufficiency Road Map and the Philippine Rice R&D Programs for 2011-2016 were also presented.

Meanwhile, paper and poster presentations were imparted in four thematic areas namely innovative technologies and approaches for boosting rice productivity, grain quality, and nutrition; strategies mitigating the impacts of and adapting to climate change, and other emerging problems confronting the rice industry; socio-economics, impact assessment, policy, and market; and technology promotion and delivery for narrowing the yield gap.

Proceso J. Alcala, Department of Agriculture secretary, was the conference’s guest speaker.

Based on data derived from the Institute’s Impact Evaluation, Policy Research, and Advocacy Program, the country needs to increase the production of paddy rice needs by 7.5 percent for this year, 10 percent in 2012, and another 10 percent in 2013 to nail the country’s moving target.

In 2004, PhilRice senior economist Flordeliza Bordey said rice production increased by 7.38% from 13.5 to 14.5 million metric tons, making the goal possible to achieve.

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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