The 26th anniversary of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the country`s lead in rice science and development, will kick off the month-long celebration of the National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) this November.
Set on Nov. 8, the anniversary will highlight the Save Rice, Save Lives pledge to gain public’s commitment in conserving rice to help the country achieve rice self-sufficiency in 2013.
The pledge, to be led by Agriculture Sec. Proceso J. Alcala and PhilRice Executive Director Eufemio T. Rasco Jr, aims to encourage the rice sector and the consumers to promote and practice the sowing of just amount of seeds, cook enough rice for the family, recycle leftover rice into other dishes, and diversified diet.
With the theme, Sapat dapat! Bigas sa mamamayan, buhay sa bayan, PhilRice anniversary incorporates activities that aim to promote the right amount of eating rice and to try other good sources of carbohydrates such as white corn, sweet potato, and cassava.
Activities include ceremonial harvesting, launching of manga on rice conservation, run for rice, and students` forum.
Dr. Flordeliza H. Bordey, PhilRice socio-economist and spokesperson of the 2011-2016 Food Staples Self-Sufficiency Roadmap, said consuming equally nutritious foods as substitute to rice could help maintain the country’s per capita consumption at 120 kg/year.
“Other countries like Japan and China are rice-sufficient despite their small rice area harvested per capita because of the citizen`s diversified diet,” Bordey said.
Meanwhile, PhilRice chemist Joy Bartolome A. Duldulao said diversified diet is a healthy option as other carbohydrate sources like camote has more complex carbohydrates and high fiber content than rice.
“Half of the typical Filipino plate contains rice despite recommendations to eat more of fruits and vegetables. New dietary guidelines recommend that fruits and vegetables should occupy half of our plates and about ¼ by grains,” Duldulao said.
In the official PhilRice Facebook™ fanpage, 103 fans like Maui Asia agreed to having meals with other sources of carbohydrates.
“Been rice-less for 2 weeks now and I’m shedding some pounds. Mash is a good substitute…..Maybe, I’ll eat rice tonight with pork adobo, but I’m hoping I won’t crave for it that much and go back to my rice-eating self again,” Asia said.
DA-PhilRice is a government-owned and –controlled corporation that aims at developing high-yielding, cost-reducing, and environment-friendly technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.
For more information, please visit or contact DA-PhilRice at Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija with telephone number (044) 456-0285 loc 511/512 or any PhilRice station near you. You may also visit their website at www.philrice.gov.ph or text your questions to 0920-911-1398. Hanah Hazel Mavi M. Biag, Development Communication Division, PHILIPPINE RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE (PhilRice)