Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Philippines: Rice as health staple featured in Biotech Week

Rice is a staple food for almost all Filipinos, and could be a vehicle for nutrients lacking in the regular diet in a sustainable way. Research activities pertaining to the development of rice as a healthier staple was one of the highlights of IRRI’s participation in the week-long celebration of the 8th National Biotechnology Week (NBW), together with partners from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

This year’s theme Bioteknolohiya para sa Kalikasan, Kalusugan, Kagandahan, Kabuhayan, at Kaunlaran focused on biotechnology’s gains for health improvement and is aptly chaired by the Department of Health.

IRRI and PhilRice shared knowledge on new approaches to health in the Philippines and how nutrition, food, and agriculture are interconnected. An example of this new approach is the improvement of rice and other crops to contain micronutrients that supply vitamins and minerals to the body.

These were presented through plenary and special seminars, and through posters and information materials distributed in the exhibit booth.

The NBW was held 26-30 November 2012 at the Gateway Suites in Quezon City, Philippines. Through Presidential Proclamation No. 1414 (2007) that declared the last week of November each year as National Biotechnology Week, the NBW has become an important vehicle to increase public understanding and knowledge on the benefits and impact as well as the safe and responsible uses and applications of biotechnology in the country.

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