DILIMAN, Quezon City—Rice remains to be a staple food in every Filipino meal and the most abundant crop in terms of production in the country.
To honor rice farmers and the rice industry itself, the National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) for this year kicked off with activities led by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).
The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) had a head start for the celebration with a briefing of the Be RICEponsible campaign led by its national campaign director Myriam Layaoen.
"It is imperative to increase Filipinos' awareness on how to enjoy rice the healthy way. Instead of white rice, we may want to consider brown and pigmented rice or even try corn grits, saba, cassava, and camote," Layaoen said.
The celebration focuses on encouraging the public to consume the right proportion of rice and its healthy forms such as brown rice and rice mixes. After the briefing, ATI staff all shared a meal showcasing brown rice to support the campaign.
Some ATI staff also joined those from the DA and its attached agencies in the launching program held at Liwasang Aurora, Quezon City Memorial Circle. Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan emphasized the importance of the celebration especially to the people primarily concerned in terms of rice production—the farmers.
"We need to thank our farmers and boost their morale for what they do for us. This way, they will know that we appreciate what they are doing and they will strive to do better in improving agriculture for our country," Cayanan stressed.
NRAM is held every November by virtue of Proclamation No. 524, series of 2004. The theme for this year is "Ready? SET rice! RICEponsible Filipinos save rice, eat healthy, and try brown rice".
The ATI’s NRAM celebration was held on November 6 at its central office in this city.