DA-PhilRice brings responsible rice consumption campaign to Negros Occidental

July 1, 2015 9:25 am 

By Erwin P. Nicavera

BACOLOD CITY, June 30 (PNA) — The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) launched its “Be Riceponsible” champions search in Negros Occidental.

Hazel Antonio, advocacy campaign director and senior science research specialist, said Be Riceponsible was launched as a campaign in 2013 after President Benigno S. Aquino III declared it as National Year of Rice through Proclamation No. 494, but this year, it will be a competition.

The search will recognize provinces, cities, municipalities, schools, and government offices that champion campaign on responsible rice consumption.

The competition aims to further help the country continually increase its rice production and sufficiency level by encouraging Filipinos to be responsible rice consumers.

Antonio and other DA-PhilRice officials were in Bacolod City recently to talk with government officials about the search for most Riceponsible champions that will run from August 2015 to July of 2016.

The pre- and post-evaluation will take place in one year and the announcement of winners will be in November next year.

Champions per category will receive P1 million in cash while second and third placers will receive P500,000 and P300,000, respectively.

The criteria are mainly focused on how they strategize and localize the Be Riceponsible campaign, Antonio added.

Data from the Food Nutrition and Research Institute (FNRI) showed that in 2008, the average rice wastage of the country is 308,000 metric tons amounting to P7.27 billion.

Antonio said this is equivalent to 12 percent of the total rice imported by the country on said year, and the biggest of this wastage came from Luzon.

Moreover, PhilRice is also pushing to reduce rice wastage and increase sufficiency by encouraging hotels, restaurants and other food establishments toserve half cup of rice.

“We are encouraging local government units to create a ‘half-cup ordinance,’” Antonio said, adding that sufficiency level is still at stake, even with big production, if rice wastage continues to bloat.(PNA)

CTB/NLG/EPN

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