SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Rice paddy artists in Nueva Ecija paid tribute to the country’s farmers when they featured in their latest “obra” the face of a farmer alongside the 19.96 Mmt (million metric ton) figure, which represents the record high “palay” (rice) yield achieved in 2021.
“In recognition of the Filipino farmers’ achievement in 2021, the figure showing the record high ‘palay’ output is showcased in this year’s dry season paddy art at the Future Rice Farm of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Philippine Rice Research Institute here,” said Dr. John C. De Leon, PhilRice executive director.
The 19.96 million metric tons of total palay yield in 2021 was an all-time record high, bigger by 3.45% than the previous production of 19.29 Mmt in 2020, said Agriculture Sec. William D. Dar.
“The farmer’s image along with the 19.96 Mmt figure signifies that this accomplishment is for and by the hardworking rice farmers of our country,” said Nehemiah L. Caballong, lead artist of the rice paddy art.
Also showcased was another paddy art which was made in support of the “Vote: S.A.F.E. (Safe, Secure, Accurate, Free and Fair Elections) Pilipinas” campaign of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Jose Mari Z. Nombrere, another lead artist in the 14th paddy art planting, said that the artwork aims to raise awareness on the use of colored varieties such as traditional purple, the one used in the paddy art.
It was learned that about 60 DA-PhilRice staff and laborers participated in the planting of NSIC Rc 10 and traditional purple rice to create the images.
The Future Rice Farm, which started featuring rice paddy arts in 2015, is now open for group visitors that are fully vaccinated, aged 18-64, and coming from places with the same COVID-19 alert system classification as Nueva Ecija.