Friday, May 2, 2014

Protection and conservation of upland rice is a shared responsibility

Protection and conservation of the traditional rice is shared responsibility of the community and the local government. Establishing in situ or on-farm conservation site for upland rice at Kihan will prevent genetic erosion of traditional rice and preserve the rich cultural traditions for the coming generations. If the biodiversity of traditional upland rice is lost, a greater part of the Blaan culture is also lost. To preserve the culture, it is imperative to continue planting traditional upland rice for the Blaan generations to come in Brgy. Kihan. If the rare rice cultivars could no longer be collected, then about 60% of the traditional rice germplasm has vanished, a great loss of our cultural wealth. Sustainable production of traditional upland rice also addresses one very important – food security in the uplands. Overall, there is a real need to take a more holistic view of rice production systems and offer a framework for policy-makers and planners to better understand the dynamics of upland rice agriculture operating at household and community level. It is only in this way that the Government and their partners will be able to support efforts to improve production of traditional upland rice and other crop varieties in ways that are both sustainable and that meet the food security needs of the Blaan upland rice farmers in Barangay Kihan, Malapatan, Sarangani Province.

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