Rice scientists and experts encouraged R&D institutions to foster stronger partnerships as the country prepares to address the effects of trade liberalization and climate change.

During the 28th National Rice R&D Conference at PhilRice, 9 Sept, experts discussed on industry trends to address current issues and emerging problems besetting rice R&D.

Dr. Madonna Casimero of IRRI stressed that there is a need to rethink and step-up Rice R&D strategies in order to help the national government in crafting policies and develop the right technologies for the farmers.

Casimero also highlighted the message of IRRI’s deputy director general for research Dr. Matthew Morell that “not one institution can provide the solutions to all the issues confronting agriculture.” Hence, cooperation among R&D institutions is needed.

“We need to strengthen ourselves and harness the skills of our partners,” she said.

Economics professor Dr. Cesar Quicoy of UPLB emphasized that the national government must invest more in Rice R&D as it plays a major role in making farmers competitive.

“Literature will always point out that the reason why we’re always behind in agriculture is because our Rice R&D is very minimal in terms of our GDP,” he said.

According to the book titled Securing rice, reducing poverty: challenges and poverty directions written in 2006 by A.M. Balisacan, Leocadio Sebastian and several others, R&D contributes about 25% yield growth in rice.

During the conference, experts also suggested that PhilRice, as Ph’s lead institute in rice R&D, must look at the issues in agriculture as an opportunity to prove the relevance of the institute.

The 28th National Rice Research and Development Conference is annually hosted by PhilRice that gathers around 500 researchers, academicians, students, farmers, and extension workers from all over the country.  (PhilRice Development Communication  Division)