President Aquino proclaims 2013 as National Year of Rice

A November 8, 2012, press release from Department of Agriculture, Philippine Rice Research Institute 

President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared 2013 as National Year of Rice or NYR and directed the Department of Agriculture (DA) to lead its celebration, as per Proclamation No. 494, signed on October 18, 2012

The NYR proclamation aims to intensify efforts of the Aquino government through the DA to attain rice self-sufficiency by 2013.

Secretary of Agriculture Proceso J. Alcala said the proclamation will all the more reinforce current efforts of the agency in partnership with farmers’ groups, local government units and the private sector to provide needed infrastructure, technical, marketing and institutional support to successfully attain rice sufficiency by 2013, and at the same time start exporting fancy and upland rice varieties.

He said the DA—particularly through the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the DA National Rice Program—will sustain initiatives to boost farmers’ morale and motivate them to adopt modern and sustainable technologies to improve their farm productivity and incomes, and encourage the general public to be responsible rice consumers.

As part of the NYR—with the theme, “Sapat na Bigas, Kaya ng Pinas”—the DA and PhilRice will undertake a nationwide information campaign and social marketing to enjoin farmers, other rice industry stakeholders, consumers and policy-makers to help attain national rice sufficiency.

Proclamation 494, s.2012, also affirms the month of November of every year as a “National Rice Awareness Month,” pursuant to a previous proclamation issued in 2004.

PhilRice Executive Director Eufemio Rasco Jr. said the agency has kicked off the month-long celebration, coinciding with their 27th anniversary celebration—with the theme, “Sapat na Bigas, Kaya ng Pinas”—on November 5, at their headquarters in Munoz City, Nueva Ecija.