LOS BAÑOS, Philippines – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) co-sponsored the Annual Rice Policy Forum 2018 convened by the Asia Rice Foundation on 30 October 2018 at the Elvira Tan Hall of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) here.
The Forum focused on the National Rice Industry Roadmap 2030, which was prepared by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) of the Department of Agriculture through a series of multi-stakeholder consultations. The Roadmap targets a "rice secure Philippines" by making rice available, affordable, accessible, safe, and nutritious for the Filipino people. Specifically, the Roadmap seeks to improve competitiveness, profitability, resiliency, and responsiveness of the rice industry through import substitution at 35% tariff level for 25% broken rice; increasing income from rice farming by at least 50%; mitigation, adaptation, and recovery from disasters and climate change; and catering to the needs of consumers for healthy food, respectively.
Themed Mobilizing Support for the National Rice Roadmap, the Forum discussed the goals, implementing strategies, and strategic pillars of the Roadmap and solicited recommendations on the specific policy measures to realize the objectives of the Roadmap. Based on the proceedings of the Forum, the Asia Rice Foundation also aims to publish a book on strengthening the Philippine rice industry from a policy perspective within the framework of the ASEAN economic integration.
Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma delivered SEARCA's message on behalf of the Center's Chair of the Governing Board, Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. SEARCA also shared with the participants' copies of its publication titled "The Rice Economy and the Role of Policy in Southeast Asia" authored by Dr. Roehlano M. Briones of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.