“To show our never-ending support to our rice farmers, we must patronize buying locally produced rice and rice-based products,” Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary for Operations Arnel De Mesa urged.
During the Opening of the National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) Exhibit at DA on November 14, 2022, Assistant Secretary De Mesa highlighted the “Be RICEponsible” advocacy as the NRAM’s official theme until 2028.
He also stressed that to be responsible consumers, everyone should start with the new “A Ba Ka Da” movement.
“A” stands for “Adlay, mais, saba, atbp. ay ihalo sa kanin (Mix rice with other staples such as adlai, saba, corn, etc.)” and “B” is for “Brown Rice ay kainin (Switch to brown or unpolished rice).” “K” translated to “Kanin ay huwag ay sayangin (Stop wasting rice),” while “D” is “Dapat bigas ng Pilipinas ang bilhin (Support and buy local).”
For the DA Operations, Assistant Secretary De Mesa said that it continues to exert effort to increase the farm productivity and income of rice farmers through the help of various DA agencies, partner Government Financial Institutions, and other concerned agencies.
He reported that DA continuously provides high-quality inbred and hybrid rice and fertilizer support for rice farmers nationwide in addition to other interventions.
“We encourage everyone to be RICEponsible by not wasting rice, by eating brown rice and rice mixed with other staples, and by supporting locally-produced rice,” Assistant Secretary De Mesa added.
Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 524 Series of 2004, NRAM is observed every November to raise public awareness on rice, combat malnutrition and poverty, support local farmers, and attain rice self-sufficiency, among others.
The month-long celebration started with a ceremony at the Quezon Memorial Circle on November 3 and it was followed by a public exhibit at the Eastwood Mall on November 4– 6. On November 11, a ceremonial rice harvesting activity was held at the Rice Garden in Luneta Park and it was participated by students from nearby schools.
Learn more about the Be RICEponsible advocacy and the A Ba Ka Da campaign at www.facebook.com/RICEponsableAKO. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)