The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) is set to implement its Golden Rice Program in the Municipality of Sultan Mastura in Maguindanao province.
The Bangsamoro Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) expressed its support for the DA-PhilRice-led program.
“One of the strategies to ensure the implementation of the Golden Rice project in Maguindanao is holding an event like the stakeholder’s meeting so that we can tap all concerned agencies on information dissemination to farmers,” said MAFAR Provincial Director Dr. Ronjamin Maulana during the Regional Stakeholders Meeting held in Cotabato City recently.
The DA-Bureau of Plant Industry issued a biosafety permit for the commercial propagation of Golden Rice last year.
Golden Rice Program Leader Dr. Ronan Zagado said Golden Rice is a type of rice that contains beta-carotene that turns into Vitamin A as needed by our body. Its color is yellow as a result of the presence of beta-carotene.
He explained that the rice cultivar has undergone rigorous study and has proven to be safe for human consumption.
As to planting, Golden Rice is not expected to require any changes in farm management or cultivation practices.
Based on the data provided during the meeting, Maguindanao was among the seven provinces in the country that were chosen for the pilot deployment of the program as they were identified to have poor nutrition status.