MANILA – The Food Staples Sufficiency Program between the Department of Agriculture and the International Rice Research Institute was finalized recently for long-term rice breeding programs, a government press release said.
The DA’s Agri-Pinoy strategic framework on food security and self-sufficiency, the FSSP, aims to meet the domestic requirement for rice by next year and to ensure the country’s self-sufficiency in rice and other food staples, the press release said.
However, DA secretary Proceso Alcala said the program is only one way of further increasing rice production in the country but is not “a cure-all program.”
“This MOA (memorandum of agreement) is not a cure-all program, this is just a part, a technical and scientific study to attain that purpose,” Alcala said, in the press release.
Alcala noted that the supply and price of rice have been steady, an indication that the government is on the right track in achieving its goal of being rice sufficient.
Meanwhile, Bruce Tolentino, IRRI Deputy Director General said that depending on the disasters or natural calamities the country may have to face, IRRI and the DA can prepare for production loss.*