Agri students of state U vow to save rice
by Rhoderick Benez and DE Doguiles
Koronadal City (14 September) -- About 800 agriculture students and faculty members of the state-owned University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato joined hands with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in its campaign to conserve rice and help the country save P10 billion in rice imports.
In a campaign and forum dubbed "weRice" conducted at the University Laboratory School Convention Center of USM last week, students and teachers of the university's College og Agriculture pledged to avoid wasteful use of the staple food. They also promised to help disseminate the information and save lives.
Dr. Rodolfo Escabarte Jr., manager of Philrice Midsayap, said PhilRice is encouraging families and individuals to only cook what can be consumed and to avoid throwing leftovers.
"Those who promise to conserve rice agree to properly cook rice, avoid undercooked or burned rice, recycle leftover rice into other dishes, and order or cook rice that they are sure to fully consume," he said.
According to a survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), each Filipino wastes about three tablespoons of rice everyday; this means at least P23 million worth of rice wasted daily.
The program also seeks to drastically reduce or remove rice imports of the Philippines by 2013. Among other measures that the program promotes are: use of certified seeds, expansion of upland areas planted to rice, and promotion of indigenous crops. (DXVL NEWS/Pia 12) [top]