The aim of the award is to showcase RICE in a creative manner by focusing on any or all of the “Five Pillars of Rice Wisdom”.
The “Save Our Rice Campaign” is founded on these Five Pillars of Rice Wisdom:– Rice Culture, Community Wisdom, Biodiversity Based Ecological Agriculture, Safe Food and Food Sovereignty.
The Five Pillars of Rice Wisdom
Rice Culture Rice is life to the people of Asia. It is central to the Asian way of life; its culture, spirituality, traditions and norms, especially for the grassroots. To protect rice means to preserve the rich cultural and spiritual heritage that is rice.
Community Wisdom is the wealth of farmer-based knowledge of biodiversity-based ecological rice cultivation and seed conservation which has accumulated through generations of farming. This pillar recognizes farmers as scientists, conservationists, breeders and innovators in their own right.
Biodiversity-Based Ecological Agriculture is agriculture in harmony with the environment and the community. It involves the protection of traditional rice varieties and ecosystems where biodiversity is protected and agricultural methods are ecologically sound and safe.
Safe Food means rice as food safe to produce, handle and consume. This necessitates the rejection of the use of hazardous substances such as pesticides and risky technologies such as genetic engineering.
Food Sovereignty ensures the rights of people and communities to decide on food and agricultural policies; to adequate, culturally appropriate and safe food; to land and productive resources; to sustainable production and livelihoods; and to gender justice. This pillar therefore challenges policies, processes and structures that threaten these rights.
The Asia Pacific Rice Journalist Award will be presented to writers in the Asia Pacific region who effectively educate the public on the role of rice in cultures, economies and communities/societies in the region. The articles should use the Five Pillars of Rice Wisdom as the guiding principles. They should reflect any or all of the following aims: instilling an appreciation of the rice heritage of Asia; raising public awareness of the issues on and threats to rice; highlighting the role of small farmers and women in rice; strengthening the people's resolve and action to save rice; and encouraging a stronger role for youth in rice.