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New Rice Research Institute chief appointed
by Joeven C. Calasagsag - Monday, 25 July 2011, 09:17 AM
GMANEWS Online; 07/24/2011 | 09:33 PM

Plant breeder and academician Dr. Eufemio T. Rasco Jr. has been appointed executive director of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice), according to a statement released by PhilRice on Sunday.

Rasco was appointed on July 4 by President Benigno S. Aquino III and was sworn into office by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala on July 13.

Alcala has directed Rasco to ensure PhilRice works toward the Aquino administration’s goal to make the country self-sufficient in rice production by 2013.

PhilRice will focus on supplying high quality seeds, as well as bringing in technologies for upland rice farming.

Rasco graduated magna cum laude with a degree in agriculture from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and earned a doctorate degree in plant breeding from Cornell University in the United States. He is also the recipient of several awards from different organizations for his work in plant breeding and agricultural education. He is the author of the book, “The Unfolding Gene Revolution: The Ideology, Science and Regulation of Plant Biotechnology".

He has worked in the University of the Philippines Mindanao as professor and dean of its College of Science and Mathematics; the International Potato Center as coordinating scientist; the Institute of Plant Breeding as director; and the East-West Seed Company as founding director and member of the board.

As a part of those groups, Rasco conducted research on vegetables, potato, sweet potato, underused crops, slope farming, and sustainability of modern agriculture. Rasco has also written internationally acclaimed papers and books, and created the first general education course on plant biotechnology in the country. — [Bea Cupin/MRT/KBK, GMA News]

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