Agri and IRRI to sign agreement on food security

THE Philippines may realize its rice self-sufficiency target, sooner than expected, as two giant institutions mandated to secure the supply of the country’s major staple come together once more in an effort to sustain rice self-sufficiency and food security in the Philippines.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Director General Robert Zeigler are set to sign an agreement on December 3, 2012 to formalize the collaboration in line with the government’s Food Staples Sufficiency Program.

Through the signing of a new agreement, which addresses the effects of the climate change on Philippine agricultural scene, DA and IRRI will work together and renew their commitment towards reducing poverty and hunger; improving the health of both farmer and consumers; and ensure food and environmental sustainability.

Specific areas of cooperation will focus on the production and distribution of high-quality and improved rice seeds that are adaptable to climate change and resistant to stress.

Priority will also be given to research and development of new and modern farming systems and technologies that would help expand current production areas with consideration to the ill-effects of the changing weather. In addition, best agricultural practices and other support tools will be disseminated which will include the skills-training for extension and field workers.

Under the agreement, both DA and IRRI will strengthen alliance with public and private networks to establish competitive of the Philippine rice as against those from the other rice-producing countries.

The Agri Department has consistently collaborated with the rice research facility to address the food needs of the Filipino people and other mutual goals.

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