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April 2024

DA assures stable supply of rice until next harvest season

A worker arranges sacks of rice at a local rice store in Quezon City, October 4, 2023. Maria Tan, ABS-CBN News/File.

MANILA (UPDATED) — The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Saturday said the Philippines will have a stable supply of rice until the next harvest season in March or April 2024.
In a media forum in Quezon City, DA Assistant Secretary Arnel De Mesa said the country has a stable local production of rice, which is expected to hit a total 20 million metric tons (MT) before the year ends.
The Philippines earlier imported 295,000 MT of non-basmati white rice from India. An initial 95,000 MT is set to arrive within December, while the remaining import is expected to be delivered by January.
Apart the from that, the country has 3.03 million MT of imported rice, as of the end of November.
“Matatag naman iyong ating local production. So, at the end, we’re expecting na [ang] national stock inventory natin by the end of December…is enough na maitawid natin hanggang sa susunod na harvest season come March or April,” said De Mesa.
[[ Additional imports also usually arrive during the first quarter of the year, according to De Mesa. ]]
“In terms of production at iyong paparating na bigas, palagi naming sasabihin, we have a stable supply ng bigas,” he said.
According to DA’s latest monitoring, the prevailing retail price of well-milled rice is at P51-P52 per kilogram.

 DA seeks private sector’s support
Meanwhile, newly-minted DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr. is looking to the private sector in formulating national policies and programs to fast-track the modernization of Philippine agriculture in increasing food production and ensure food security.
“The collaboration of government and the private sector is crucial. We highlight the efforts and dedication of our partners in building sustainable set of option for the future of agriculture and fisheries,” Laurel said in a speech during the recent National Agriculture and Fisheries Volunteers’ Day celebration and awarding ceremony of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF).
“Over the years, the private sector has been an invaluable partner of the Department of Agriculture in the development process of the industry,” he added.
Since taking over the DA early in November, Laurel has met government officials, investors, industry experts, farmers, fishermen and other sector stakeholders to drum up support for the agency’s push for food self-sufficiency, reduction of agricultural products importation, and to make agriculture a career-option for the younger generation.
“Prompting people participation and ensuring sustainable development through sound policy recommendations are key factors that we can embrace to maintain a functional and holistic approach in dealing with the sector’s challenges,” Laurel said.
“We’ve been stressing from day one—since I was appointed as the new Agriculture Secretary—the need to modernize the agriculture sector, not only to feed 118 million Filipinos but ensure food security by practicing a whole-of-nation approach,” he added. QR Code

Published Date: December 16, 2023

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