|Let's Make the Philippines as a Sustainable and Self Sufficient Rice Country in 2013|
PNOY issued proclamation No. 494 series of 2012 last October 18, 2012 declaring 2013 as the "National Year of Rice" to underscore the need for sustained and nationwide campaign to attain Philippine rice self-sufficiency by 2013.
To attain the goal:
First, a sustained and nationwide campaign is needed to help farmers to adopt technologies to further improved farm productivity,
Second, encourage general public to be responsible rice consumers because according to statistics, 2 tablespoon of cooked rice is wasted by each Filipino everyday translating it to P6.2 billion in a year.
Lastly, sustained government efforts and efficient policies to achieve the goal.
Better irrigation system design and hybrid rice varieties capable of producing high yield will increase production to sufficient levels. Also, flood and drought resistant rice are also a big help for sustainable rice production in our climate change vulnerable country.
Responsible Rice Consumers
As a consumer, how can I contribute to the goal and be a responsible rice consumers? Below are examples to conserve rice or convert them to usable dishes.
1. Minimizing cooked rice wasted for my every meal either in fastfood or at home.
2. Leftover rice can be cook as "sinangag" or fried rice. Rice can also be dried and made to caramelized pop rice for a desert.
3. Diversified diet - we should also try sweet potato, cassava and banana as rice substitute. We should also eat brown rice because it is more nutritious and have higher milling recovery rate (75% compare to 65% for white rice).
Better government policies to protect farmers, complete implementation of irrigation projects, support by the government to Research and Development (R&D) for better rice varieties and irrigation system design.
Rice Sufficiency is not an effort of farmers alone, even if they produce tons of tons of rice and Filipinos are keep wasting it, we will always end up importing rice from other countries.
Farmers, sellers, rice consumers and policy makers, if joined together, the road to Philippine Rice self-sufficiency will be achieved.
Department of Agriculture
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