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February 23, 2024   Siniloan Campus   Campus Wide


Home/ News & Articles/ No to VAD: LSPU, PhilRice tie up to boost ‘Malusog Rice’ production
No to VAD: LSPU, PhilRice tie up to boost ‘Malusog Rice’ production

Vitamin A is vital for healthy growth, development, and maintenance of the body’s immune and visual systems. However, Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) is said to be a major public health problem across the world, the most vulnerable of which are children and women. If not addressed properly, this condition can lead to reduced immunity, cognitive development, and poor eyesight.

To address this concern, the Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) teamed up to increase the production of Golden Rice (GR), otherwise branded as “Malusog Rice,” a new variety of rice that contains beta-carotene, a primary source of vitamin A which the body converts as needed. 

Apart from its yellow color from the beta-carotene engineered into its gene, the Malusog Rice is said to have the same form and taste as common rice—only with improved nutritional value. 

The partnership between LSPU and PhilRice aims to increase the production of Malusog Rice to ensure the availability of supply for distribution to the target areas with high incidences of malnutrition, with the former allocating at least 1.0 hectare of land and the latter providing planting materials composed of 40kg/ha of Malusog Rice Seeds. 

The LSPU will manage its production of Malusog Rice for the purchase and distribution of the partner agency. 

Engr. Beltran P. Pedrigal, Vice President for Administration and Officer-in-Charge for the Office of the Campus Director of LSPU-Siniloan Campus (LSPU-SC), welcomed the innovation of rice with its additional nutrient content during the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) held at the Research and Development Hall, LSPU-SC, Feb. 21.

Meanwhile, Ms. Rhemilyn Z. Relado-Sevilla, Director I, Malusog Rice Program, Project Area Coordinator-PhilRice, thanked the LSPU through the presence of its key personnel for showing their support and commitment in their quest for rice sufficiency in the Philippines.

Dir. Relado-Sevilla also noted the importance of the production component of the LSPU. 

“I think what sets apart LSPU ay meron pong production,” she said. “Na napakahalaga because yung production is actually an implementation…nung itinuturo natin sa ating mga estudyante lalong-lalo na pagdating sa agriculture.”

Mr. Wilfredo B. Collado, Malusog Rice Program Field Test Supervisor, Chief Science Research Specialist-PhilRice, anticipates the commitment of the two parties in fulfilling their responsibilities for the partnership. He also expressed the support of PhilRice in the implementation of the project. 

Also gracing the event with their words were Dr. Marc Sylvester P. Garcia, Dean of the College of Agriculture, for the welcome remarks; Mr. Jeff Lloyd G. Francisco, Malusog Rice Program Field Coordinator and Communication Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator-PhilRice, for the statement of purpose; Dr. Jayson N. Olayta, Malusog Rice Production Coordinator of LSPU and Chairperson of the Office of Student Affairs (OSAS), for the reading of the content of the agreement; Ms. Imelda P. Joson of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), for a message of gratitude; and Dr. Robert C. Agatep, VP for Research and Development and Extension, for the closing remarks. 

Mr. Paulo M. Orioste served as master of ceremony for the event.

A sample of Malusog Rice was provided to the attendees after the program proper. They also visited the rice field where the Malusog Rice will be planted.

The project has started to roll out on February 21, 2024. 

#MalusogRice

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References:

ANCX. (2023, July 22). What is Malusog Rice and why Pinoys should care about introducing it to their meals. https://news2.abs-cbn.com/ancx/food-drink/features/07/22/23/whats-malusog-rice-and-why-pinoys-should-care-about-it 

IRRI. (n.d.). Golden Rice FAQs. https://www.irri.org/golden-rice-faqs#:~:text=A%20simulated%20analysis%20study%20by,are%20required%20in%20fighting%20VAD

Resurreccion, L. (2022). Malusog Rice tastes like…rice. Business Mirror. https://businessmirror.com.ph/2022/11/27/malusog-rice-tastes-like-rice/ 

PhilRice. (n.d.). Malusog Rice. https://www.philrice.gov.ph/golden-rice/about-gr/ 

Memorandum of Agreement between LSPU and PhilRice