LOS BAÑOS, Laguna — The International Rice Research Institute based here is using new technologies that are "completely appropriate to the Philippines", President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said Tuesday when he visited the international organization.
Marcos, who is also the country's Agriculture Secretary, toured the IRRI headquarters, met with its board members, and inspected its newest drone during his visit.
"Ipinapaliwanag ko dito sa Board of Directors na lagi naming pinag-uusapan na kailangan laging maayos ang value chain ng agrikultura, 'yung unang, sa umpisa ng value chain, the first link is R&D (research and development)," Marcos said.
(I told the Board of Directors that we have always talked about the need for a decent value chain in agriculture. And at the start of the value chain, the first link is research and development.)
He said he wanted to strengthen research and development, and the sharing of information in the institute.
The president was also shown how the institute’s newest P800,000 AGRAS drone works.
The drone can collect data, spray pesticides and fertilizers, and can help reduce the exposure of rice farmers to chemicals, the IRRI said. It can cover 5,000 square meters in one full run.
"So nabigyan kami ng pag-asa (So this gave us hope) in the Philippine government to introduce technologies from [top to down, to the grassroots]," Marcos said.
During the visit, Marcos reenacted a pose of his father, former President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., and the founding leaders of the IRRI captured in a photo taken around the 1960s.
Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban was present at the event.