Searca, PhilRice renew ties to strengthen Philippines rice industry

(The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2020 - 12:00am

 MANILA, Philippines — The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) have renewed their partnership to further collaborate and address challenges, particularly leadership development, in the country’s rice sector.

SEARCA is keen to contribute in addressing regional and global challenges, elevating agricultural families' quality of life.

It intends to do so by enabling farmers to access new and innovative financial services??, adopting  new, sustainable, resilient production technologies and systems?? and  integrating with modern postharvest and logistics system.

PhilRice, on the other hand,  is mandated to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

Through its R&D work in its central and branch stations, PhilRice aims to improve the competitiveness of the Filipino rice farmer and the Philippine rice industry and transform it to be more profitable, resilient, and sustainable through responsive, balanced, environmentally sound and partnership-based research, development, and extension.

Under the three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on Jan. 20, SEARCA and PhilRice committed to collaborate on a number of activities including joint research, capacity building activities, and knowledge and information exchange.

PhilRice and SEARCA “shall work together with other partners like DOST and PCAARRD on building more leaders for R&D  (research and development) institutions ready to face the new challenges in rice-based farm productivity.”

 Past SEARCA-PhilRice collaborations were research on improving the agricultural insurance program to enhance resilience to climate change;  estimating the demand elasticities of rice in the Philippines;  sources and causes of productivity growth in Philippine agriculture and value chain analysis of corn in the Philippines and benchmarking with other corn-producing countries.

SEARCA and PhilRice also jointly published a 12-volume monograph series that captured the findings of their collaborative project on “Productivity Growth in Philippine Agriculture” conducted with the Bureau of Agricultural Research.

The project analyzed the productivity growth in Philippine agriculture by measuring and disaggregating the sources of said growth over time using analytical approaches appropriate to Philippine conditions.

The results and recommendations of this research may also be used in other countries of Southeast Asia, possibly contributing to agricultural and rural development in the region.

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