PalayCheck being eyed as platform for quality rice certification

PhilRice/ PNS — PalayCheck, an integrated crop management system for rice, is seen as a possible platform for advancing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification in rice, a country representative to the symposium funded by the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC) of the International Rice Research Institute and co-organized by Rice Department of Thailand said.

The Symposium on GAP for Rice in Southeast Asia, which was recently conducted in Bangkok, Thailand, tackled the promotion of best practices for rice production as a platform for rice GAP in Asia to ensure sustainability, safety, and quality in rice production while strengthening farmers’ competencies in the market.

Imparting the development of PalayCheck, country representative Dr. Karen Eloisa Barroga elaborated on the system’s components including practices on seed quality, land preparation, crop establishment, and proper management of nutrient, water, pest, and harvest.

PalayCheck, developed by Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, farmers, and local government units, includes technologies generated under IRRC.

Barroga, division head of PhilRice’s Development Communication Division and one of the main proponents of PalayCheck, also shared the system’s challenges in promotion and adoption in the Philippines.

“If the use of PalayCheck becomes the platform for rice GAP or the basis for safety and quality certification for rice, then this will give PalayCheck farmers a chance to join the export market or a domestic niche market and increase their profits,” she said. Barroga added that provinces supportive of sustainable agricultural practices may be tapped for pilot-testing rice GAP.

Rice-exporting countries in Asia such as Thailand and Vietnam have started implementing rice GAP since FAO initiated the certification in 2003. Rice produced in My Thanh Nam, Vietnam and Ratchaburi Province, Thailand, already passed global GAP standards.

Representatives from China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam and 11 members of IRRI and IRRC participated in the symposium.

DA-PhilRice is a government-owned and –controlled corporation that aims at developing high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.