DA-IRRI Ceremonial Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

With the goal of ensuring food security and sustainability of the rice industry in the Philippines, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Director General Dr. Matthew Morrell on 13 February 2019 at DA OSEC Conference Room, Diliman, Quezon City.

Joining them during the MoU signing were DA Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano, IRRI Chief of Staff Peter Brothers, and IRRI Platform Leader Dr. Ajay Kohli.

After the ceremonial signing, a press conference was held, in which issues on decreasing productivity and focus levels of rice farmers were addressed in connection with the reasons as to why the Philippines could not achieve that long-dream of rice self-sufficiency. This led to DA’s partnership with IRRI, the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science, with the hope that such collaboration will improve the rice farmers’ productivity and rice competitiveness in the country.

Better water management systems and improved variety of good seeds, as stated within the scope of the Memorandum of Understanding, were some of the goals for this year as strategies to achieve the country’s target production in agriculture. Correlatively, the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), as the research and development (R&D) coordinating arm of DA, will play a crucial part in this endeavor.

As one of the key partners of IRRI, BAR, together with the DA Rice Program, DA-Regional Field Offices, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Agricultural Training Institute, Bureau of Plant Industry, Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, and other DA R&D implementing agencies, has been supporting rice projects that are vital to information generation and technology development. Among these R&D rice projects include Philippine Rice Information System Management, Rice Crop Manager, Pest Risk Identification and Management (PRIME), Next Generation (Next-Gen) Rice Varieties, Capability Enhancement of the Next Generation of Rice Extension Professionals and Farmer Intermediaries (IPaD Project), Water-efficient and Risk Mitigation Technologies, Heirloom Rice/Philippine Specialty Rice, Sustainable Rice Straw Management Practices and Technologies, Strengthening the Capability of the RDE Partners of Climate Ready Information and Technologies to Rice-based Farming. ###