Biotech Updates

More than 100 Tons of Golden Rice Harvested in the Philippines

January 11, 2023

Golden Rice field in Antique province, Philippines. Photo Source: Province of Antique

The Department of Agriculture Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has announced that more than 100 tons of fresh paddy of beta carotene-enriched Malusog Rice (Golden Rice) have been harvested in 17 pioneer production sites across the country.

This first harvest will be milled for distribution in target households in selected provinces in the country with preschool children at-risk for vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and undernutrition, as well as pregnant and lactating mothers. VAD leads to poor eyesight and weak immune systems, making children prone to viral infections and other diseases and delaying growth and development. The municipalities of Viga and Virac in the province of Catanduanes had already received promotional packs of Malusog Rice as part of the initial household distribution. Catanduanes is one of the seven pilot provinces to receive the beta carotene-enriched variety as it has one of the highest incidences of malnutrition in the country, according to the Expanded National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

The governor of Antique province, Rhodora Cadiao, said that Malusog Rice could be one of the ways to address the province's VAD problem among preschool and school children. Farmer-cooperators also showed their support and delight as the first to plant and harvest Malusog Rice in their respective provinces. “As I have observed, Golden Rice has good quality seeds, and I want to taste it already. It also has good characteristics in terms of its elongated stem. I was encouraged to be a cooperator of GR to help the government minimize cases of malnutrition,” said Leo Franco Ebardo, a seed grower in Bayugan City in the province of Agusan del Sur.

Malusog Rice (Golden Rice) is branded after its first variety registered in the National Seed Industry Council as Malusog 1 or NSIC 2022 Rc 682GR2E.

For more details, read the article on the PhilRice website.

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