Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Batac dads back ‘golden rice’ production

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Batac City—The Batac Sangguniang Panlungsod gave its full backing on the ongoing “golden rice” field trials being undertaken by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in this city.

Batac councilor Violeta D. Nalupta, who sponsored the resolution supporting the project, announced their full support for this after all members of the city council expressed their favorable action on the measure.

The Ilocos Times learned that there was prior field trial for the same program in the past but this did not yield satisfying results.

In view of this, Ms. Nalupta, who chairs the council’s agriculture committee, said they need to continue the field trials using different varieties as there would be many benefits one the trials give better results.

Based on research, the golden rice is rich in Vitamin A which prevents cancer, help builds immunity of children, helps perform bodily functions, plays a direct role in performing physiological functions and helps in the development of central nervous system.

Further research states that Vitamin A deficiency is still a public health problem affecting 15 percent of preschool children and 9 percent of pregnant women and one of the causes of blindness but also malnutrition and mortality in the Philippines.

Ms. Nalupta also said that this kind of rice also prevents signs of aging because of its high content of anti-oxidants.

The PhilRice is the lead agency for developing golden rice in the country and has chosen the Batac as one of their research sites in the Philippines.

She said that PhilRice uses the GR2-E hybrid rice in the experimentation and if ever this will succeed, the variety will be introduced to Batac farmers.

The field trial is being conducted at the PhilRice compound in Batac with an approximate area of more than a hectare. 

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