Thursday, February 11, 2016

Heirloom and stress-tolerant rice varieties presented at IFAD review

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—Heirloom rice farmers of the Cordillera Administrative Region are now better linked with both local and international markets that will provide them with higher income opportunities.

This is one of the major project achievements for 2015 reported by Dr. Digna Manzanilla, coordinator of the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE), and Annette Tobias, assistant scientist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), during the 8th Annual Country Programme Review by the International Fund for the Agricultural Development (IFAD). To support heirloom rice farmers within self-help groups, CURE through the Heirloom Rice Project (HRP), conducted a training on business planning .

Manzanilla (photo) highlighted other significant project accomplishments and activities such as testing and validating stress-tolerant rice varieties, local capacity enhancement, and knowledge management in partnership with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). The writeshops on upscaling innovations were also among CURE’s main accomplishments for 2015 that she presented.

With this year’s theme, Assessing the IFAD-PH Country Experience Towards Innovative Development Models, the event aimed at sharing the government’s expectations on the contribution of loans and projects towards realizing the Philippine Development Plan 2011-16. Present during the event, held on 26-28 January, were 47 representatives from 12 IFAD loan and project grants. Other participants came from government agencies such as the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Agrarian Reform.

Participants visited IFAD-funded project sites such as Cattubo and Abiang in Benguet under the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP2). During this guided field visit, the participants were able to interact with the implementers, partners, and project beneficiaries.

They also visited the rehabilitated Calasipan-Apanberang-Mongoto farm-to-market road, the organic garden of the livelihood investment groups, the reforestation and agroforestry site, and the coffee processing center of the Abiang Community Multipurpose Cooperative.

CURE, one of the projects funded by IFAD, aims to help 100 million poor farm households in Asia who depend on rice. CURE is coordinated by IRRI in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and PhilRice.

CHARMP2 works to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of rural communities in the highlands of the Cordillera Administrative Region through community mobilization, watershed conservation, agriculture and agribusiness development, promotion of income-generating activities, and the development of rural infrastructure. CHARMP2 forged a partnership with CURE to strengthen its development interventions and enable CURE to introduce and extend technological options over a wider area.

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