UK to fund studies on rice production
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - August 2, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines- The UK government is urging Filipino researchers to submit interdisciplinary research proposals that will support long-term and sustainable rice production in the Philippines, said the British Embassy in the country.

“Food security is one of the greatest global challenges we currently face,” the embassy said in a statement sent to The FREEMAN. “In a bid to address this, a new collaboration between the United Kingdom and four countries in Asia, including the Philippines, will support research projects to boost the resilience and sustainability of rice production in the region.”

The embassy said this initiative is supported by the UK government’s £375-million Newton Fund which helps build science and innovation partnerships with key emerging economies like the Philippines.

It said that programs in the Philippines are being allocated by the Newton Fund around P711 million until 2019.

British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad said in the statement: “In a country where rice is a main part of almost every meal, enhancing rice production is a major priority. The headlines report that El Niño may be the most intense the country has experienced in recent years.”

Ahmad added that studies have shown climate change will have devastating effect on food security if not urgently addressed.

“Unli rice may no longer be a promo offer,” the British envoy said. “This project will help farmer productivity and enhance trading in rice, when necessary. We encourage all researchers who are working towards the adequate supply of this staple food to submit their applications to the Newton Fund.”

The UK government also worked with three other countries – China, Thailand and Vietnam – for the initiative.

Proposed projects should be up to a maximum duration of 3 years and will require a UK principal investigator and a Philippine principal investigator. The deadline for submission is on August 13, 2015.

Britons are as fond of rice as Filipinos. (FREEMAN)

ACIRC AHMAD ATILDE BRITISH AMBASSADOR BRITISH EMBASSY EL NI NEWTON FUND PHILIPPINES ASIF AHMAD RICE THAILAND AND VIETNAM UNITED KINGDOM
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