PH to remain a rice importer

By Marianne V. Go, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 30 2012 07:07 AM | Updated as of Jan 30 2012 06:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines will still have to import rice in 2013, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, said in an interview following the Sagip Saka advocacy launch last Friday at the Club Filipino in Greenhills.

According to Alcala, the Philippines would still have to import rice in 2013 even as the Department of Agriculture had hoped that the country would have attained rice self-sufficiency by then.

He said, the 2013 import volume would be lower than the 500,000 metric tons (MT) the government is importing this year.

But he added that “after 2013, we will be sufficient.”

For this year, the DA is targeting a lower palay (unhusked rice) production of 18.6 million MT. The DA has lowered its palay production target to reflect more realistic figures than it has previously targeted.

Following the spate of typhoons that hit the country last year,   palay production in 2011 managed to amount to only 16.68 million MT from the target of 17.3 million MT.

The National Food Authority (NFA) has agreed to limit the rice importation this year to 500,000 MT barring any further palay destruction during the year that may be brought about by the seasonal typhoons and weather disturbances.