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Rice sufficiency aim is on target

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol reveals they are now focusing on four fundamental aspects to achieve rice sufficiency in the next few years.

During the celebration of the 50th year of the release of high-yielding rice variety called IR8 in Los Baños, Laguna, Piñol said that by producing quality seeds, supporting fertilization, enhancing irrigation, and fostering farm mechanization, the country will be able to achieve this goal.

“I am very confident that within the next two to three years, we will be able to hit rice sufficiency. We just need to focus on four things,” said Piñol.

IR8, which was developed by IRRI from the cross breeding of tall vigorous variety “Peta” from Indonesia and dwarf variety “Dee-geo-woo-gen” from Taiwan, is credited to have sparked the Green Revolution in Asia that saved the region from famine in 1960s and 1970s.

Dr. Peter Jennings, who led the breeding team that developed IR8, has also attended the event.

“On behalf of the Filipino people, we would like to thank you for your contributions to our goal of feeding this nation. You have fed not only the Philippines but the whole world,” Piñol told Jennings.

“In recognition of your contributions, I would like to inform you today sir that as Secretary of Agriculture, I will be recommending you for a Congressional honor. I will also write the President (Duterte) recommending that you will be given a Presidential award for your contributions to food sufficiency in the country,” he added.
(Ellalyn B. De Vera)