Industry Strategic Science and Technology Plans (ISPs) Platform

Rice Industry Profile

Rice (Oryza sativa) is a staple food in Asia. It is used in traditional food preparations, native delicacies and traditional wine. In some cultures, it is also used for religious rituals, offerings and festivals. According to IRRI, 48 million ha in Asia is used for rice production, this equates to almost 30% of the world rice harvest. The Philippines alone recorded 4.81 million hectares of area harvested for rice and a total production of 19.96 million metric tons, with the value of Php 403.89 billion (PSA 2021). However, even with this level of rice production in the Philippines, rice is still the 3rd most imported agricultural item of the country. In 2020, 2.2 million MT was imported to the Philippines, of which 79.7% originated from Vietnam. This records a trade balance (exports less imports) value of -7.32 billion USD. Further, the Philippines is expected to reach 2.9 million MT of rice import in 2022.

The different ecosystems, cultural management practices, preferences and use of rice have been greatly considered in developing varieties of the crop. Philrice, in 2018, mentioned NSIC Rc 216, Rc 160, Rc 300 and Rc 222 as the top 4 preferred rice varieties of Filipino farmers in irrigated lowland fields. These varieties were bred to reduce losses due to different climates. Rice varieties can be classified into three: short-grain, medium-grain, and long-grain. The texture of rice also differs from varieties. White rice or milled rice, the most commonly known rice, is of that color due to the removal of rice bran. While red rice, brown rice, and black rice are of those colors because of the unique pigmentations of their brans. 

Rice bran is one of the three main by-products of rice alongside rice straw and rice husk or hull. The rice straw and rice husk are commonly used in energy production, like combustion and gasification. While rice bran, with its oily nature, is used for animal feed binder, cooking oil, and even waxes for cosmetic products. The bran layer, when not removed from the grain, also makes rice more nutritious.

Problems in the Industry

Besides the high input costs like fertilizer, labor, land rent, transport, and milling cost among others (DA, 2018), rice production in the Philippines is constrained by low yield and quality high postharvest losses, and high water requirement in an increasingly resource-scarce country due to the growing population and water demand, and increasing threat of climate change.

ISP for Rice

The Rice ISP aims to contribute in the improvement of rice productivity initially in identified project sites for subsequent technology transfer with the following goals: 1) to increase rice production (mt/ha) in irrigated areas; 2) to prolong the shelf-life of brown rice; and, 3) to save irrigation water in rice production.

Strategic R&D

Strategic R&D is DOST-PCAARRD’s banner program comprising all R&D activities that are intended to
generate outputs geared towards maximum economic and social benefits

Technologies

Products, equipment, and protocols or process innovations developed to improve productivity, efficiency,
quality, and profitability in the agriculture and aquatic industries, and to achieve sustainable
utilization and management of natural resources

Rice Combine Harvester

The Rice Combine Harvester developed by PhilRice can be readily mounted and dismounted from the hand tractor unit. This maximizes the utilization of hand tractors which are common agricultural equipment...

Read More

Technology Transfer Initiatives

Technology transfer initiatives ensure that the outputs of R&D and innovations are transformed
into viable and applicable technologies that help intended users

Capacity Building

Capacity building efforts of DOST-PCAARRD seek to develop and enhance the R&D capabilities of researchers
and academic or research institutions through graduate assistantships & non-degree trainings
and development and/or upgrading of research facilities

Manpower Development

Policy Research & Advocacy

Analysis of policy concerns and advocacy of science-informed policies ensures that the AANR policy environment is conducive for S&T development
and investments
(Erik De Castro, The Western Producer)

A Resilient Rice Supply Chain: Invest in biofortification technologies and designer food

There are three crucial principles in designing and developing a resilient supply chain. First, value creation, efficiency, and inclusivity objectives should drive the development. Second, the capacity to adapt and recover largely depends on the coordination among key actors and access to innovations. Third, sustainable and diversified consumption can improve resiliency through presenting other opportunities that can be explored by producers. 

It is essential to make food available, affordable and nutritious, especially as the Philippines has pre-existing conditions of malnutrition and acute hunger. Biofortification technologies, from genetic engineering to tissue cultures to molecular breeding, and development of designer food is a way to address this problem. Designer food is enriched with nutrients other than its traditional value. An example is the golden rice which is infused with beta-carotene.

Reference:

Aranas, M., Castillo, M. and Predo, C. (2021). Rebuilding the Farm-to-fork Model: A Resilient Agricultural Food Supply Chain. Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines: Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources – (Policy Brief)