[CMSAbstractTransformation.DataBind]: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Fast facts on rice

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 28 2008 05:54 PM | Updated as of Mar 29 2008 01:54 AM

(Excerpts from “101 Facts About Rice in the Philippines”, compiled by V. Bruce J. Tolentino, Beulah de la Pena, Elcee Noveno, Benedicto Rayco and Irene Villapando,  November 1, 2001)   In the 1990s, rice production in the Philippines grew by only 1.9% per year, while population grew at a relatively rapid rate of over 2.3% per year.   Over the next 25 years, the requirement for rice in the Philippines is expected to increase by at least 65%.   Prior to the mid-1980s, the gap between world rice prices and Philippine rice prices was minimal and stable. Since then, the gap has gradually but continually widened.   High palay production costs are traceable to continued dependence on high consumer prices, exacerbated by high cost of labor, land rent, and marketing of inputs and outputs.   The Philippine Rice Research Institute indicates that the Philippines has only exploited a quarter of its full potential capacity in rice yields. Actual yields average only 3 tons per hectare while potential is 12 tons per hectare.   In the 1970s and 1980s, Filipino farmers adopted new and improved agriculture technologies earlier and at rates faster than farmers of other countries.   Rice farmers     There are 2.1 million rice farmers in the Philippines.   The 1991 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries counted 2.37 million rice farms in the Philippines.   The average rice farmer owns and tills about 1.5 hectares of irrigated rice land.   Eighty percent of the income of the average rice farmer comes from rice. The other major income source is off-farm employment.   Half of all farmers use the carabao for farm work.   Rice prices   Eighty percent of Filipino households (10 million out of 12 million households) devote at least half of their expenses to food.   The poorest Filipinos spend at least two-thirds (66%) of the total household income on food.   Rice is the staple food of more than 90% of all Philippine households, and takes up about a quarter (25%) of the total food budgets of Filipino families.   Rice consumption   Cross-country evidence shows that Filipinos eat much less rice than do the citizens of other Asian countries.   According to the National Food Authority, Filipinos consume 103 kilos of rice per capita per year.   Per the RiceWeb, Filipinos consume 95 kilos of rice per capita per year. This comes to about 260 grams of milled rice—or about three cups of milled rice per day—or a cup of milled rice per meal.   The Vietnamese consume up to 165 kilos of rice per capita per year, and the citizens of Myanmar eat as much as 213 kilos of rice per capita per year.   Rice and hunger   A principal cause of malnutrition is low calorie intake. Even as early as 1993, it was already determined that in general, Filipinos had access to only 88% of their Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) in calorie intake. The basic source of calories in the Filipino diet is rice. In general, Filipinos derive 41% of their calories from the consumption of rice.   Low calorie intake is associated with low rice consumption. In the last ten years, domestic rice retail prices have increased relatively rapidly, undoubtedly leading to reduced consumption, specially among the less-able family members, particularly children and infants.   The average Filipino household of six (two adults and four children) consume 570 kilos of rice per year. At the prevailing Philippine prices, this average Filipino family spends P10,000 per year on rice. However, at Vietnamese prices, the budget required is only P3,500, implying a savings of P6,500 per year.   The rice situation in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand   In terms of rice prices and costs of production, the gap between the Philippines on the one hand, and Vietnam and Thailand on the other, has been growing worse over time.    Filipino consumers pay double or triple what Thais or Vietnamese do to buy rice   Filipino rice farmers spend double to triple what Thai or Vietnamese farmers do to produce rice.   The gap in rice prices and costs of production between the Philippines on the high side, and Thailand and Vietnam on the low side, has been growing since the mid-1980s.   Rice production in the Philippines has been growing at an average rate of 1.9% per year over the last decade compared to 3.0% and 5.4% for Thailand and Vietnam, respectively.   In terms of rice prices and costs of production, the gap between the Philippines on the one hand, and Vietnam and Thailand on the other, has been growing worse over time.   Rice production in the Philippines has been growing at an average rate of 1.9% per year over the last decade compared to 2.0% and 5.4% for Thailand and Vietnam, respectively.   Compared to Thailand and Vietnam, Philippine rice productivity (in terms of palay produced per hectare) has been relatively stagnant, increasing by an average of only 0.43% yearly over the last decade.   Thailand’s rice productivity has increased by 1.24% and Vietnam’s by 3% yearly over the last 10 years.   In recent years, the Philippines has been the largest single importer of Vietnam’s rice exports.   Since rice prices in the Philippines are so much higher than rice prices in exporting countries like Vietnam and Thailand, it is particularly profitable to smuggle rice into the Philippines, despite the risks of being caught and penalized.   In the 1970s and 1980s, Filipino farmers adopted new and improved agriculture technologies earlier and at rates faster than farmers of other countries.   Irrigation   The overall experience in many Asian countries indicates that the installation of irrigation brings up to about 3 tons per hectare per year.   In the Philippines, only about 29% of all potentially irrigable land (1.34 million out of a total 4.66 million hectares) is irrigated.   At the peak of irrigation development in the 1970s, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) was able to build new irrigation facilities at the rate averaging 25,000 hectares per year.