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Rising with Rice 2017.01.01 19:24:00
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"Rising with Rice"

About the Philippine Staple food and how it was manufactured



          Fact: Out of 50 000 species of edible plants, just three of them, rice, maize, and wheat, provide sixty

percent of the world’s food energy intake.


          Fact number 2: Just 15 crop plants out of these 50 000 edible plants provide ninety percent of the world's

food energy intake, with the aforementioned three making up two-thirds of this. These three are the staples of

over 4 000 million people.





          Just like many other Asian nations such as China, Japan, and Indonesia, rice is the staple food of the

Filipino people. It is eaten routinely and in such quantities that it constitutes a dominant portion of a standard

diet for the given people.




          The Philippines has around 300,000 square kilometers, of which around 43,000 square kilometers of

harvested area are used for rice production. Being archipelagic in structure, most of the country is very 

mountainous and consists of many small islands, and suitable land is limited to expand rice production into

without affecting wetlands, forests, or areas producing other crops. Urban areas also continue to expand rapidly.

Additionally, the population of the Philippines develops at an exponential rate every year. Its annual growth rate

of around 2% – among the world’s highest – means that just to keep pace with growing demand the country

would have to increase rice production and yield at rates rarely seen in history. These are the reasons why

the Philippines is currently the largest importer of rice in the world, importing around 1.8 million tons of rice

as of 2008 (World Rice Statistics).


          Facts number 3, 4, and 5: Rice in the Philippines is called bigas when uncooked and kanin when cooked. 

Glutinous rice is referred to as malagkit (sticky).  Unmilled rice is palay.


          Rice has become such a significant part of the Filipino lives that authorities have seen fit to establish

an organization dedicated solely to the study and development of Philippine rice – PhilRice, as it is now called.

The proposal for the establishment of PhilRice was submitted to then Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos through

then Agriculture and Food Minister Salvador H. Escudero III. The Executive Order (EO1061) creating PhilRice

was signed by President Marcos on November 5, 1985. Then Pres. Corazon C. Aquino signed EO 60 on November

7, 1986, which affirmed the creation and increased membership in the Board of Trustees of PhilRice.





          Fact number 6: As reported by the official PhilRice page, PhilRice Acting Executive Director, Dr. Sailila

E. Abdula, was awarded as Outstanding Agricultural Researcher during the 46th National Gawad Saka Awarding

Ceremony at the Philippine International Convention Center, December 12. Abdula was recognized for his

significant contributions in the research and development of NSIC Rc120 (Matatag 6) and Rc226 (Tubigan 20).

These varieties were developed and released to address the tungro rice disease infestation in Southern

Mindanao. He was also recognized for his Improvement of rice-based farming technology through training

of religious leaders in Maguindanao, ARMM: A pilot test of Madrasah sa Basak. It received the Best Re-entry

Project from the Development Academy of the Philippines’ Middle Managers’ Class 8.




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