He was recognized for his outstanding contribution in advancing crop science technologies, particularly in rice. The award is the CSSP's highest recognition for outstanding contribution in the advancement of crop science in the Philippines through research, teaching, extension, and administration in the various crop science disciplines.
Tolentino has been involved in international development, governance, management, analysis, and planning of socioeconomic development and reform initiatives and projects in Asia, Africa, and Central America for over 35 years. Most recently, he was significantly involved in the development of the Philippines' Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP) in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture.
Under the FSSP, IRRI works closely with Philippine partners to reduce poverty and hunger, improve farmer and consumer health, and ensure environmental sustainability. Tolentino leads the formulation and implementation of the program providing guidance and direction to ensure sustainability of food for all Filipinos, many of whom still go hungry every day.
The CSSP promotes human welfare through the discovery and dissemination of knowledge concerning the nature, utilization, improvement, and interrelationships of plants and their environment and people. The awarding was held at the Phela Grande Convention Center on 16 June during the 46th CSSP scientific conference.
Other CSSP achievement awardees included Dr. Artemio Salazar, University of the Philippines (technology development); Dr. Villaluz Acedo, Visayas State University (teaching); Dr. Chito Sace, Central Luzon State University (research); Dr. Othello Capuno, Visayas State University (William Dar Award for Research and Management); and Dr. John de Leon, Syngenta (Sant Virmani Hybrid Rice Award).
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