PhilRice to Conduct Field Tests for Rice Varieties

According to an official statement, field tests for the varieties of rice that contain beta-carotene will be conducted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in the dry season next year.

"To be transferred to farmers by 2013, the beta-carotene-laden rice can be grown organically and will be sold at a price comparable with the regular polished rice”, PhilRice said.

It also said that our body requires vitamin A and a cup of pro-beta-carotene rice could provide half of vitamin A needed by body every day.

The Executive Director of PhilRice, Ronilo A. Beronio has said that the rate at which the research is going on will definitely help Philippines to become first developing country to produce these varieties of rice.

The local popular variety of rice has been inserted with the gene containing beta-carotene by the plant breeders.

The beta-carotene-laden rice will be transferred to the farmers by 2013 and it will be sold at the prices similar to the regular polished rice.

Beronio said that as the beta-carotene gene with PSB Rc82 has been successfully crossed by the plant breeders, this was the reason their country got the approval of growing this variety first. After PhilRice will sign a material transfer agreement, the performance and adaptability of the variety will be tested properly.