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Catanduanes Government

Golden Rice - Gov. Josep Cua

Catanduanes Governor Joseph C. Cua reiterated the provincial government’s support for Golden Rice, noting that it is a product of local research that can be integrated in the local nutrition programs to help improve the nutrition intake of Vitamin-A deficient populations.

 

VIRAC, Catanduanes – After more than two decades of extensive research and development, the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) is now poised to deploy Golden Rice seeds for massive production in Catanduanes.

 

Catanduanes is one of the seven pilot provinces in the Philippines and the only province in Bicol, identified as priority regions for the Golden Rice Program to address Vitamin A deficiency, particularly among children under the age of five, 59 percent of whom suffer from stunting and 39 percent from wasting.

 

The Golden Rice Project was initiated in 1990 with the goal of improving the nutritional value of rice via genetic modification. Golden Rice was developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in partnership with the DA-PhilRice.

 

In a stakeholders’ meeting via Zoom called for by DA-PhilRice in Catanduanes last November 4, 2021, Governor Joseph Cua together with other provincial heads were convened to enjoin their support in advocating the production and consumption of golden rice for the next generation.

DA-PhilRice senior research specialist Reynante Ordonio assures that the production of Golden Rice is aligned with the efforts of the government toward the attainment of food security and reducing malnutrition.

 

Data showed that out of the 23,575 children measured and weighed, the island-province had 4,538 children either stunted or severely stunted. Compared to the average height of 110 centimeters (cm) for boys and 109.4 cm for females, moderately-stunted children are usually about 9 cm to over 14 cm shorter. Hence, VAD incidence continues to be a significant public health issue in the province.

 

“Isa sa sa mga problema namin [dito sa isla] ay kung paano ma[re]resolbahan ang malnutrisyon. So, we are happy that you [DA-PhilRice] have this program na talagang interesado kami,” said Governor Joseph Cua during the meeting.

“We will support the program and any assistance we can help i-coordinate lang po sa amin and we will provide,” he added.

 

NEXT STEP

In support to the acceleration and expansion of Golden Rice seed production, the DA-PhilRice Bicol, together with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), conducted Courtesy Call and Technical Briefing on Golden Rice Seed Production and Handover of Seed Planting Materials on June 8-9, 2022 at Rakdell Inn, Virac, Catanduanes.

 

To signify the commitment and support to make the Golden Rice seed production and deployment a success, ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between DA-PhilRice and partner farmers and seed growers was also done during the said activity.

 

Golden Rice

The activity was attended by the Governor Joseph C. Cua, Congressman Hector Sanchez, Provincial Agriculture and Services Office, Municipal Agriculturist of Virac and Viga, Partner Farmers and Seed Growers, DA-PhilRice Bicol and IRRI.

 

Governor Cua reiterated the provincial government’s support for Golden Rice, noting that it is a product of local research that can be integrated in the local nutrition programs to help improve the nutrition intake of Vitamin-A deficient populations.

 

As an initial step for deployment, DA-PhilRice will distribute a total of 120kg of the golden rice seed to selected farmer cooperators and seed growers Virac and Viga with 1-hectare seed production of golden rice in the said municipalities.

 

DA-PhilRice has also committed 2 kilograms of milled Golden Rice to the Provincial Nutrition Office to be used in the celebration of nutrition month this July.

 

Golden Rice is derived from PSB Rc82 as its parent material and is classified  as NSIC Rc682 GR2E rice variety or commonly called Malusog.

 

The Philippines now joins a select group of countries that have affirmed the safety of Golden Rice. In 2018, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Health Canada, and the United States Food and Drug Administration published positive food safety assessments for Golden Rice.



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Golden Rice Gov. Joseph C. Cua Joseph Boboy Cua Sulong Catandungan Sulong Pilipinas
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