Dr. Sailila Abdula appointed OIC Executive Director of PhilRice

Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol appointed last week Dr. Sailila Abdula, a Maguindanao Rice Breeder and Scientist, as the new Executive Director of PhilRice, the country's rice research agency, replacing Dr. Calixto Protacio whose term has ended.

Dr. Abdula, Chief Science Research Specialist and Gawad Saka Outstanding Agricultural Researcher awardee for Central Mindanao Region is known for his achievements in rice science.

Dr. Abdula is a native of Patadon, Kidapawan City and previously head of the PhilRice Station in Midsayap, North Cotabato,  Dr. Abdula is credited with the breeding and development of two new rice varieties - NSIC Rc120, and Rc226, according to a DA report posted online.

The new rice varieties, known to be pest-resistant, were developed by Dr. Abdula to address the "tungro" rice disease in Southern Mindanao, the report said.

He is also credited with breeding the "Sigue-Sigue" rice variety whose performance is comparable to the very expensive Hybrid seeds developed by multi-national and huge seeds companies.

Dr. Abdula, 43, finished his PhD in Agriculture at Chungbuk National University, Korea.

Government officials and ordinary folks in the ARMM and Central Mindanao lauded the appointment of Dr. Abdula, for being the first Moro to head the premier rice research agency.