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'BeRICEponsible:' National Rice Awareness Month theme for six years

'BeRICEponsible:' National Rice Awareness Month theme for six years

The Department of Agriculture (DA) made "BeRICEponsible" the theme for National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) through 2028. Photo: DA

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has elevated the annual celebration of National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) by instituting "BeRICEponsible" as a theme beginning this year and lasting until 2028.

NRAM is held every November in accordance with Proclamation No. 524, s. 2014, to raise public awareness about rice, combat malnutrition and poverty, and achieve rice self-sufficiency. The celebration will begin on November 3 at Liwasang Aurora, Quezon City Memorial Circle.

The six-year theme, according to Dr. Hazel V. Antonio, senior science research specialist of the DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute, is a call for every Filipino to do their part to address rice-related issues by not wasting rice, eating brown rice, mixing rice with other healthy staples, and supporting local rice farmers by buying and consuming local produce.

The public is reminded to avoid food waste in order to help achieve rice security, as the Food and Nutrition Research Institute's 2018 Household Food Consumption Survey revealed that cereals and cereal products account for 48g of the total 67g of food waste in a household.

Meanwhile, brown or unpolished rice is recommended because it contains more fiber, minerals, and vitamins, especially B vitamins, and has a lower glycemic index than white rice.

Rice produced by our local farmers must also be supported in order to sustain their livelihoods and encourage them to continue producing high-quality rice for consumers.

Activities in November include displaying a series of exhibits for the public to better appreciate the country's staple food and its producers, ceremonial harvesting at Luneta Park, and the launch of the new "Panatang Makapalay" and advocacy jingle.

The Eastwood Mall will host exhibits on November 4-6, and the DA Central Office will host exhibits from November 14-18. On November 11, there will be a ceremonial rice harvesting at Luneta Park.

NRAM activities will also be carried out by DA regional offices and PhilRice branch stations in their respective coverage areas.

Furthermore, online activities include the NRAM filter contest, which runs from November 3 to November 20, the Be RICEponsible Buyer Challenge, which runs from November 14 to December 18, and a Facebook live session on November 29.

During their flag ceremonies, government employees and stakeholders will also recite the "Panatang Makapalay" and serve half-cups of rice and healthier rice. (DA-PhilRice / CMN)

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