DA to launch massive modernization to hike rice recovery, cut wastage

December 1, 2023 Cory Martinez 115 views

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) will launch a massive modernization program to increase rice recovery after milling from 62 percent and lessen wastage after harvest.

DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr., said the move is a response to the directive of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to increase rice production and reduce post-harvest losses through science and technology.

During his visit to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in the Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija, Laurel told rice experts and scientists about the importance of harmonized efforts from all sectors to attain food sufficiency.

“We just have to focus our efforts and synchronize with each other in implementing our rice programs with all agencies, local government units and stakeholders,” Laurel said.

“The dream of being rice-sufficient is achievable, we just have to work in harmony,” Laurel stressed.

According to Laurel, he would not accept the Cabinet post and take responsibility if he didn’t see any hope in the agriculture sector.

Laurel also committed to looking into the staffing of PhilRice and bringing in more employees. At present, it has 297 personnel and scientists who help improve the rice sector.

PhilRice executive director John de Leon said the agency now employs 1,500 contractual workers, many of them highly capable in their respective fields.

With 140 hectares and eight stations throughout the country, Laurel recognized that PhilRice is severely undermanned, especially in its role in producing seeds and developing technology that would help increase rice output.