ARROYO SIGNS INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF RICE PROCLAMATION
LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA, March 3, 2004 (STAR) President Arroyo has signed Proclamation No. 524, known as Philippine Celebration of International Year of Rice (IYR), to affirm the government’s commitment to the goals of IYR 2004.
The goals of IYR 2004 are food security, reduction of poverty, environmental sustainability and cultural heritage, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly when it approved the resolution last Dec. 16.
In the campaign to proclaim 2004 as IYR, the Philippine government played a lead role, supported by 42 other countries under the initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based here has actively endorsed the proposal.
The President has designated the Department of Agriculture (DA), headed by Secretary Luis Lorenzo Jr., as the lead agency in the planning and implementation of a multi-agency, nationwide and year-long celebration of IYR.
Proclamation 524 also calls on other government agencies and non-government organizations to cooperate in the observance of the event.
In compliance with Proclamation 524, the DA has formed a national steering committee composed of government and non-government groups.
IYR activities will include rice exhibitions, rice technology fairs, conferences and symposia on rice research and development and rice farming and biodiversity, Rice and Environment Week, book launches, tour of agencies and campuses by the official mascot, "Palayman," and concerts for the restoration of the Banaue Rice Terraces. — Rudy A. Fernandez
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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