DA says yearly wasted rice can feed country for three years

March 6, 2012 10:28 am 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, March 5 – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has warned against waste of the rice grainsl by improper eating habits in the family and wasteful use of the cereal.

The waste of rice grains by consumers was stressed by Agriculture Assistant Secretary Dante S. Delima in his message during the recent First Mindanao Sustainable Organic Agriculture Congress and Agro-eco Tourism Fair held in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur.

“We waste three tablespoons of rice each day. If we multiply this by 94 million Filipinos, this could feed us for three years” he said.

Delima said that the country’s per capita consumption of rice is 119 kilos compared to Vietnam which is only 80 kg and Malaysia 60 kg.

He said that this is one of the reasons why rice should be eaten right to avoid wastage.

Delima who is also the national rice program director said that food sufficiency in 2013 is attainable. By then, “ang tanan natong bugas produkto na sa mag-uumang Pinoy (our rice will be solely produced by Filipino farmers),” he said.

In 2010, rice importation totaled 2.4 million metric tons.

But Delima said that when Proceso J. Alcala took the reigns as DA Secretary, rice importation went down at 800 thousand metric tons in 2011.

This year, because of the calamities, the country will import 500 thousand metric tons which is only 21 percent compared in 2010.

With 2013 as the target date for food sufficiency, Delima urged stakeholders to assist government of its cause to feed the nation.

Banking on the youth as part of nation building, he lamented on their choice especially the children of farmers and fisherfolk who prefer to take all courses except agriculture.

“Food is a basic need and being an agricultural country, there are more opportunities for those who will choose agriculture as a course,” Delima quipped.

Agriculture Regional Executive Director Eduardo B. Holoyohoy, Organic Agriculture Consultant Teresita P. Saniano, and Assec. Delima visited the women’s group in Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur, who call themselves Kahugpungan's.

The group is a recipient of a half million peso organic vegetable project from the DA’s High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP).

He also visited the DA’s Research Outreach Station in Betinan, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur where he saw an array of rice varieties, soybeans and peanuts.

He passed by the Regional Crop Protection Center in Molave, where he observed biological control agents for rice, corn, and vegetables. He had a dialogue with the Ramon Magsaysay Mayor Pacifico B. Bulahan, Jr, and the Officials of Barangay Wakat, also in RM, headed by Chairwoman Nieves Cabasag. He verbalized support to sustain the Organic Agriculture Program of Dumingag Municipality led by Mayor Nacianceno M. Pacalioga. (PNA) RSV/Felino M Santos/mmg

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