As appreciation and understanding of rice are vital steps in helping the country achieve enough rice supply, DA-PhilRice recalibrates its frontline education program to ensure that visiting learners will value rice and rice farmers; and gain substantial knowledge on rice science and technology.
Executive Director John de Leon recently issued a memorandum designating rice experts from each division to respond to the learners’ needs, further improving the Institute’s quality of service to its stakeholders. This move is part of the transition from virtual to face-to-face interaction, as the Institute anticipates a higher number of visitors this year.
As a knowledge hub for rice science information in Nueva Ecija, DA-PhilRice accommodated more than 2,000 learners in 2022, including farmers, extension workers, journalists, students, scientists, partner-agencies, policymakers, and dignitaries from the British Embassy in Manila, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and Gambia Standards Bureau.
Last year’s evaluation report showed that knowledge gain exceeded learners’ expectations and increased their awareness of the value of rice. The report also showed that they were very satisfied with the services of the frontline educators and campus facilities.
The Institute’s learning spots include the Rice Science Museum, FutureRice Farm, Palayamanan, experimental fields, Rice Gene Bank, laboratories, and rice machine display, which also serve as an avenue in promoting campaigns such as the “Be RICEponsible” – an initiative encouraging consumers to not waste rice and to consume the nutritious brown, red, and black rice. The Community Relations Office leads the planning and skills development training for frontline educators, in partnership with the local government unit of Science City of Muñoz and the Department of Tourism.