Tuesday, April 29, 2014

CAR stakeholders attend training on heirloom rice

Thirty-one participants from different groups of stakeholders from the four provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) joined the Training on Morpho-Agronomic Characterization of Traditional/Heirloom Rice on 22-24 April 2014 at IRRI HQ.

The 3-day program was designed to improve the variety characterization and purification skills of participants and thus adding value to their long-nurtured rice genetic resources. By maintaining the purity of desired varieties, their market value is increased.

The output of this activity will be used to publish a catalogue of their heirloom varieties which will serve as community registry. This will then be submitted to the Plant Variety Protection Office as a form of defensive protection against misappropriation.

Furthermore, the characterized varieties based on morpho-agronomic traits will be used to study their diversity and genetic relationships. The study isaimed at maintaining the varieties’ purity and identity for further research and market preference. Those with high market potential will also feed into the application for geographic indication product mark that will put the Cordillera heirloom rice in the world market.

Participants underwent different practical exercises on how, when, and where to observe specific traits and characteristics of heirloom rice. At the end of the training, the group came up with a common guide for variety characterization and the project’s work plan.

Resource persons for the training included IRRI’s senior scientist and project leader of the Heirloom Rice Project Dr. Casiana Vera Cruz, CURE coordinator and co-project leader Dr. Digna Manzanilla, senior associate scientist Mr. Renato Reaño, postdoctoral fellow Dr. Rosa Paula Cuevas, PBGB scientist Ms. Isabelita Oña, PBGB researcher Ms. Pauline Capistrano, designate-executive assistant of National Seed Industry Council of the Bureau of Plant Industry Dr. Vivencio Mamaril, and Professor and Head of Plant Genetic Resources Division, Crop Science Cluster, UPLB Dr. Teresita Borromeo.

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