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Gov’t steps up campaign to eliminate rice wastage

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The government is stepping up a media campaign to eliminate staple wastage, an official of Impact Assessment Policy Research and Advocacy of Philippine Rice Research Institute said on Tuesday.

This was bared by Dr. Flordeliza Bordey, program leader for Impact Assessment Policy Research and Advocacy of Philippine Rice Research Institute, as she raised concern over the information that every Filipino is said to be wasting 14 grams of milled rice per day.

“Probably, many of you have not known that every Filipino is wasting about 14 grams of milled rice per day or it is equivalent to about three table spoon per person per day,” she said in a regular press briefing at Malacanang on Tuesday.

She further said: “That if there are 94 million Filipinos who are wasting this (rice), then we are wasting about 480, 000 metric tons of rice which can already feed about 4 million people for the whole year.”

Elimination of wastage, Bordey noted, is one way to manage consumption. Aside from elimination of wastage, she cited two other ways - diversify staple and encourage consumption of unpolished rice to promote responsible consumption pattern for better health and nutrition.

“One of the strategies that are not well-explored by the previous administration is managing of consumptions. It’s like we are trying to keep on increasing our production but then our consumption side is increasing and increasing because, one, of the population growth and second, of the increasing per capita rice consumption,” she said.

Bordey said that “from 106 kilograms per person per year in year 1998, 1999 our rice per capita consumption rose to 119 kilograms per person per year in 2008-2009.”

To address the concern of increasing number of rice per capita, Bordey said they would do extension education and information dissemination to encourage the people to consume alternative staple food.
“So, how do we manage consumption? It’s not like telling the people not to eat rice but we intend to promote responsible consumption pattern for better health and nutrition,” she added.

According to Bordey, one way to do this is to diversify the sources of staple or carbohydrates. “So, rice is not the only source. Some parts of the population are eating white corn as their staple. Some are eating sweet potatoes, cassava especially in the country side,” she said.

Bordey said they will be able to make prices relatively cheaper by increasing the supply of this alternative staples as well. “And therefore, we induce substitution from rice towards these crops in the process,” she said.

“Another one was the consumption of unpolished rice or better known to many as brown rice. So, this brown rice is not only more nutritious than the white rice but it also has this property of higher milling recovery. So, for example, a one hundred (100) kilogram of palay, we can turn it into about 70 kilogram of unpolished rice or brown rice whereas if we convert it to white rice we will only be able to recover about 65 kilograms of white rice,” she said. (PCOO/PIA9-BaSulTa)




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