The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the National Rice Program, Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), and Regional Field Offices (RFOs), launched this year’s National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) celebration with the “Be RICEponsible” campaign as its theme until 2028.
DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban shared that the DA programs and policies implemented under the leadership of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. proved to be effective in improving the country’s rice production and enhancing the competitiveness of local rice farmers.
He reported that as of Sept. 2023, the total rice inventory grew by 6.6 percent from the 1.45 million metric tons level in the same period last year.
DA Undersecretary for Rice Industry Development Leocadio Sebastian also assured the local rice farmers that the DA will continue supporting them and prioritizing their needs.
He also encouraged every Filipino to support the local rice industry by choosing products with the Philippine Rice logo, preventing rice wastage, eating brown rice, and mixing rice with other food staples.
The NRAM promotes the “A-Ba-Ka-Da” movement, meaning adlay, mais, saba, atbp. ay ihalo sa kanin (Mix rice with other staples such as adlai, saba, corn, etc.); – Brown rice ay kainin (eat brown or unpolished rice) – Kanin ay huwag sayangin (Stop wasting rice); and – Dapat bigas ng Pilipinas ang bilhin (Support and buy local).
To promote the local agricultural products of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and farmers, the DA will also participate in the 1st Cashless Expo co-organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the GoDigitalPilipinas Movement (GDP) Inc. The expo, scheduled on November 17–19 at the World Trade Center, aims to feature MSMEs and their products and promote cashless transactions. The DA will have 16 booths for exhibitors from DA-PhilRice, DA-Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Rice Board, USSC, PRISM, and farmer cooperatives selling rice and rice-based products.
The DA will highlight the NRAM and other DA projects towards digitalization and rice industry development. Under Presidential Proclamation No. 524 Series of 2004, NRAM occurs every November to raise public awareness of rice, promote better health among consumers, improve the income of local farmers, and attain rice self-sufficiency, among others.