Published on August 22, 2022 | John Reidy, World Grain
MANILA, PHILIPPINES— Initial farm-level cultivation of Golden Rice is underway on 40 hectares during cropping season in the Philippines as part of a nutrition initiative by global research partnership CGIAR.
This project is part of the expansion of seed production in partnership with the Philippines’ PhilRice branch stations, partner seed growers, regional Department of Agriculture research and experiment centers, and state universities and colleges. It also includes grain production with farmer-cooperators in target provinces with high incidence of malnutrition.
Golden Rice is a genetically modified, biofortified crop. Biofortification increases the nutritional value of crops. Golden Rice is genetically modified to produce beta-carotene, used by the body to make vitamin A, which is not normally present in rice. Vitamin A is a nutrient important to vision, growth, cell division, reproduction and immunity.
The crops in the Philippines are now at transplanting stage and expected to be harvested in October with an average yield of 5 tonnes per hectare. Production of Golden Rice will be expanded when more seeds are available. Meanwhile, the program is continuously conducting public awareness activities and local media engagement to inform stakeholders of the safety and benefits of Golden Rice.
CGIAR, based in Montpellier, France, is a global partnership that unites international organizations engaged in research about food security. CGIAR research aims to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve human health and nutrition and sustainable management of natural resources.