LAOAG CITY (PIA) – Members of Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte expressed their support to expand the production of golden rice in the province during the “Stakeholders Engagement Forum” organized by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) on September 9.
In her message, Vice Governor Cecilia Araneta-Marcos conveyed her support in the production of golden rice in the province, given its health benefits for the Ilokanos.
“This will truly help our kakailian (provincemates) sa Vitamin A deficiency. Talagang hindi tayo nabubuhay without rice. Ngayon na mayroon tayo nito (golden rice) at na-enhance pa siya with beta carotene. It will also help our rice farmers kasi medyo in a doldrum sila dahil sa mga presyo ng rice. On behalf of our Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc, kami po sa provincial government ay talagang sumusuporta sa mga ganitong klaseng development that will help our provincemates,” said Araneta-Marcos.
The golden rice is a new variety of rice that was developed by the PhilRice, in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), that intends to address Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and contribute to the solutions in eradicating malnutrition among children in the communities.
When a child lacks Vitamin A, this will lead to childhood blindness and may weaken the immune system of the body.
Since it is a more nutritious type of rice, golden rice will be recommended for consumption in the local government units with the highest incidence record of malnutrition and VAD in the locality.
This rice is also enriched with beta carotene which the body converts into Vitamin A as needed. When consumed, this would improve the dietary and nutritional requirements of the children.
According to PhilRice, the planted area reaching 0.56 ha at the Department of Agriculture-Ilocos Norte Research Experiment Center in Dingras could produce 1.9 tons of golden rice while the 0.6 ha planted area at the institute’s station in Batac City could produce 2.1 tons.
In May, PhilRice initially distributed a total of 120 kilograms of golden rice seed to five seed growers in the town of Piddig for a 3ha seed production.
Sangguniang Panlalawigan Board Member Jonathan Torralba expressed his support as chair of the agriculture committee.
“As chair of the Committee on Agriculture, kami po ay nakasuporta sa ating golden rice na makakatulong sa pagsugpo ng malnutrisyon,” said Torralba. (JCR/JPD/MJTAB PIA Ilocos Norte)