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Friday, April 19, 2024

Marcos eyes production of healthier rice to address PH nutritional issues

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President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. met with officials from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to address nutritional concerns in the country.

During the meeting in Malacañang on Friday, President Marcos emphasized the need to address broader nutritional concerns beyond rice consumption.

“It’s no longer just food sufficiency. There should be nutritional value given to the people. There’s very much that we could learn from (you). IRRI has been actually continuing the research and development and when we went, I could see some of their rice is made not for the Philippines alone, the varieties are going all over the world,” President Marcos said.

“It’s beyond (the issue of) food and rice in Asian countries. So, again, that just brings into very sharp focus how important (rice) is to us. But the other side of it is the nutrition side because of course, we cannot eat just rice. So, there has to be a source of vegetable, and protein. So, that’s why we are now trying to find the [solution],” he added.

Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Executive Managing Director of CGIAR, accompanied by IRRI officials, offered to develop additional rice and agricultural produce varieties tailored for local consumption. The President welcomed this proposal, recognizing its potential to contribute to achieving complete nutritional fulfillment for Filipinos.

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She highlighted various initiatives such as iron-rich potatoes, high-protein maize, and Vitamin A-rich rice as examples of their ongoing efforts to combat nutritional deficiencies.

Moreover, President Marcos highlighted the Food Stamp Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which aims not only to provide food to the poorest families, but also to ensure that they receive nutritious options.

The “Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program” serves as a flagship program under the Marcos administration, aiming to reduce hunger among low-income households by providing financial assistance for purchasing essential food items.

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