Rice and Biodiversity

The Philippines is a country of big rice consumers. Oryza Sativa, a type of grass that produces rice grains which are widely consumed as a staple food for some parts of the world and mostly in Asia. The farming of rice dates back to the ancient times with different rituals followed along the process.

The Exhibit at the National Museum of Anthropology showcases the variety of rice farmed in the Philippines. The Ecology Map of farming also shows the extensive rice production all over Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Farming of rice evolved with science as the discovery of high yielding rice variety was introduced by International Rice Institute in the year 1960.

But before the introduction of modern techniques, ancient rituals of farming includes worshiping of idols to yield high productions.

The exhibit shown displayed variety of idols from different parts of the Philippines and as well as ancient tools used for plowing, cultivating, and milling rice grains.

Ancient farmers deploy these tools through manual labor.

Today the Philippines stands as the 9th largest rice producer worldwide and was on record to be the largest rice importer in the year 2010.

Farmers are the reason why we have rice on our plates everyday.

Rice Production

Rice farming is a tedious process from nursing the seeds, plowing the field, planting it on the farmlands, waiting for it to grow until such time that it is ready for harvest.

It would take atleast four months to actually see profit on hand. Climate change also plays a major factor in the profitability of rice production. Too sunny weather won’t give enough water for the seeds to grow due to the drying up of land thus the “El Nino Phenomenon”.

Typhoons oftentimes destroy premature seeds on the fields during bad weather condition, and the rate of seed survival drops hence the drop in harvest. Those are all according to my wife’s grandpa Tatay Supok.

A full time farmer for more than three decades. Built by experience with time and hard labor, Tatay Supok is one of the reason why we have rice on our plates everyday.

So to end this I would like to pay tribute to all the rice farmers around the world.

Thanks for doing a hero’s job! The arduous task that you do without complain feeds not only your country but the world. May your seeds yield high and your profits multiply.

Mabuhay ang mga Magsasaka!”(Long live the Farmers)

(This article is created from my travel at The Museum of National Anthropology located at Agrifina Circle, Rizal Park ,Metro Manila.)

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