National Rice Awareness Month calls for greater support for local farmers

Growing up, my mother has been strict about not finishing our plates clean during meals. “It’s hard to be a farmer, so you should value each grain of rice on your plate,” she would say.

Seeing a recent Facebook post from the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) reminded me of this household rule. “A rice farmer cultivates his farm for about four months. He contends with bad weather, pests and diseases, and increasing prices of farm inputs. He also needs about 5,000
liters of water to produce one kilo of rice,” it said.

This National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM), let us thank the farmers not just by saving each grain of rice, but by buying and consuming locally produced rice, as this would create demand and boost the farmers’ confidence to continue producing safe and quality rice.

This year’s NRAM celebration takes pride in the theme, “Grow local. Buy local. Eat local. SupportOurRiceFarmers,” which follows up on last year’s campaign and underscores marketing, consumption and production of local rice.

“It encourages various rice stakeholders to support Filipino farmers especially in buying their harvests at a reasonable price, and the rice consuming public to patronize locally produced rice,” said ATI, which runs under the Department of Agriculture.

For its part, ATI will conduct Rice Talks, a webinar series on recommended rice production practices and technologies, which will be streamed on Facebook through the ATI’s nationwide network of training centers until Nov. 27

Topics include practices from seed selection up to post-harvest management, ICT tools on rice and agriculture, benefits of brown rice, and rice-based product processing, among others

Photography enthusiasts are also invited to join RICEponsable Ako! Photo Contest. The mechanics and qualifications are as follows:

  1. You must be a resident of Metro Manila.
  2. One photo per participant only. Comment with your original photograph that tells about responsible rice consumption or supporting the local rice industry on this post:
  3. Each photo entry must have a caption that explains why you are “RicePONSIBLE.”
  4. Put the hashtags: #GrowLocal_BuyLocal_EatLocal #SupportOurRiceFarmers
  5. Make sure to like and share the Agricultural Training Institute’s Facebook page and tag three of your friends.
  6. Winners will be selected on the NRAM culminating activity and will receive special prizes.

For more information on the celebration of NRAM 2020, follow ATI on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @atiinteractive.