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PHL, VIETNAM AGREE ON COLLABORATIVE RICE R&D PROGRAM

The Department of Agriculture said today the Philippines and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam agreed on a collaborative research and development (R&D) program to promote rice farming systems and technologies during the recently held First Meeting on the Joint Agriculture Working Group between the two countries.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Planning and Project Development Orlan Calayag, who headed the Philippine delegation, said this also includes capacity building and enhancement of research and training facilities for both countries.

Through this, we aim to reduce post-harvest losses and to advance processing technologies, Calayag said.

Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam headed the Vietnamese delegation.

Included in the collaboration on rice R&D is a breeding program for developing high yielding, high quality and hybrid varieties, including climate change resilient rice varieties with resistance/tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Biotic stress occurs as a result of damage done to plants by other living organisms, while abiotic stress is the negative impact of non-living factors on the living organisms.

Calayag said varieties resistant or tolerant to drought, salinity and submergence will be included.

He added, both countries will identify an expert group on rice breeding that will discuss in detail the joint breeding program.

During the meeting, it was also agreed upon that new farming systems and rice technologies that can expand the current geographic focus on identified areas considering climate resilience and value chain factors will be promoted.

“Both countries will exchange information on best practices on organizing small-scale farmers into farmer associations or cooperatives.  We also agreed to conduct benchmarking analysis of the rice value chain from production to market in an effort to advance processing technologies and reduce post-harvest losses,” Calayag said.

He added, the Philippines and Vietnam will accelerate the promotion of crop management technologies through the use of innovative approaches such as the information and communication technology (ICT) advisory system to achieve more extensive but cheaper information dissemination.

Research and training facilities will be enhanced, and we will also have capacity building for the new generation of scientists, researchers and extension workers, the Assistant Secretary said. (Ian Go, DA-OSEC)

Posted By: Lynne Pingoy

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