PH may start exporting rice this year

Good weather key to goal of self-sufficiency


President Benigno Aquino. FILE PHOTO

DAVOS—President Aquino sees the Philippines, which used to be the world’s biggest importer of rice, attaining full self-sufficiency and even turning into an exporter before the year is over.

That assumes that the country will enjoy good weather this year, Aquino said Thursday night in a private session tackling anti-corruption initiatives at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum here.

“From importing almost two and a half million metric tons of rice in 2010, now, if the weather permits, we are looking at full rice self-sufficiency—and even the possibility of exporting it—by the end of this year,” the President said.

The long-time quest for rice self-sufficiency was mentioned by the President in the context of reforms pursued by his administration in the operations of the National Food Authority, the government agency tasked to ensure rice self-sufficiency.

Aquino said his predecessor had allowed the NFA’s debt to balloon to $4.4 billion from $300 million over the course of the former president’s nine-year term, insisting on importing more rice than was needed to feed the people.

“So you had a staggering amount of debt, and rice that no one would eat, rotting in warehouses that the government, of course, had to pay rent for. Any sane and reasonable person would not have done this, but it was done, and that was the reality we had to deal with. This insanity was justified by convincing our people that we were not capable of feeding ourselves through tilling our own land, hence the necessity of importing rice,” he said.

Since his administration assumed office, Aquino said more funds were plowed into irrigation, arterial roads, research into higher-yielding varieties and other technologies, making the goal of self-sufficiency viable.

In a research on the Philippine rice situation last year by Asian Development Bank consultants, it was noted that the Philippines continued to grapple with significant food insecurity. “Years of preoccupation with rice self-sufficiency and rice supply and price stabilization have not made a dent on the problem,” the research said.

Some of the food insecurity stemmed from rice supply issues and high domestic prices. Some of these might not be apparent in recent years but the research said current trade policies did not augur well for long-term supply and price stability.

The ADB research dated January 2012 noted that in the early 1990s, the government was importing too little and consumers generally paid high prices for rice. In 1995, it said the government imported too late, initially restricting imports but only to see domestic prices spike up, consumers getting alarmed and the government eventually scrambling to restore stability in the market.

“Thereafter, the government has imported aggressively and domestic prices have moved considerably closer to international prices in the last three years. But the supply stability achieved had cost too much, bloating the NFA’s losses and borrowings and drawing attention to the fact that the strategy is unsustainable,” the research said.

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  • rodben

    In 1970’s the lowest price of the rice per kilo is P0.90 , in 1980 lowest price of rice per kilo is P0.95 , in the year 2000 the lowest price of rice per kilo is P16.00, and now the lowest price of the per kilo is P 34.00, meaning we still need more rice to lower down the price ( Demand and supply) amigo.

    • redkinoko

      Economy doesn’t work that way. Inflation of other goods ensures that the price of rice per kilo can only go down so much. Bring back the price to that amount and you’d have essentially killed the entire market. 

  • Bayang_magiliw

    Bad news for Mike Arroyo’ rice smugling business.

    • latino_boom

      101% agree with you

  • tiopaero

    hahaha sianbi mo na yan panot sa  Asean Summit nung 2010 pag dating ng december 2010 bumili tayo sa Vietnam ng bigas hahahahahaha nakakahiya tuloy ang bansa sa pangulo ng Vietnam sa mga pinagsasabi mo. hahahahaha

    Panot ang pinagsasabi mo para mo na rin sinabing tutubuan ka ulit ng buhok bago matapos ang taon at di ka na panot. Hahahahahahaa

    • redkinoko

      I can already tell you’re fun to talk to at parties. 

    • Kudi

      it’s more fun to make TIOPA than intellectual discussions.  that is,  if one has the capability.

    • kexxx

      Sa comment palang halata na kung anong klaseng breeding, nakakahiya dito pa nagkalat sa public forum. Ano kaya ang masabi ng mga magulang nito pag nabasa nila ang comment ng kanilang anak? Matutuwa kaya sila o mahihiya? O ganun din sila walang breeding. Maganda yong maglabas ng mga saloobin pero hindi naman kailangan ang name calling.


      Tiopa the first target was actually 2014. you are the only 1 who says 2010 just to muddle the issue.

    • latino_boom

      This guy doesn’t know what he is talking about…how can a person say such thing kung kakaupo pa lang nya on year 2010…ang hirap kc wala namang alam eh nagmamagaling…Stup*d

  • Diablo_III

    Very very well.. GO FARMERS…..

  • Angelicus1

    Excellent achievement. 

  • Ai

    I hope they will show hard data to support his claim. And if it is true then this is good and inspiring news.

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    I hope the Pres. PNoy will also look into the former NFA head Lito Banayo’s involvement in rice smuggling and hold him to account accordingly. The senate inquiry has done its part, laying bare the evidence of Lito Banayo’s special approval for large volume of rice importation through his favored cooperatives. It’s time to walk the talk of Daang Matuwid.

    • Ai

      I don’t think Lito Banayo is involved in rice smuggling. You have to research further.

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        I hope he’s not but that senate inquiry into the rice smuggling last year says otherwise. Just when Lito Banayo was supposed to face the music in the senate inquiry last Dec 2012, he suddenly fell ill and had to be confined in Phil Heart Center. It appears you’re not updated.

  • chuggy

    I wish were given a more detailed explanation for how we are able to achieve self-sufficiency this year. Did we open more farm land for rice-growing? Did we help mechanize more farmers? Did we replace other crops with rice? How did we get here??

    • kulittwit

       Simply because today, there is no more cartel in rice smuggling unlike during arroyos time. corruption is the reason for rice importation in the past.

    • yesyesyo

       All your words means nothing if the philippines do not import rice this year and actually export rice.

      • chuggy

        Ang babao mo kaya. Oo ka lang ng oo; you care not for facts and instead are fully satisfied to take his word for it. Learn to question authority and don’t be a mindless drone.

  • boybakal

    PH may start Exporting rice this year…

    Whenever Pnoy goes abroad, that is what he always says…
    Two years ago pa ganyan na ang sinasabi. On the contrary, we kept importing rice.

    How could we be self sufficient in rice eh…there is always typhoon, flood and ricefields are still underwater.
    Wala nama ginagawa ang gobyerno except nature takes its course, meaning it dries up by itself.
    Second is rice lands are now mostly subdivisions, space for rice planting is getting smaller and smaller as population grows bigger and bigger.

    Let’s be realistic.

    • Diablo_III

      Tumulong ka nalang sa pag-araro para maka export tayo. Hindi daming satsat… Hopefully its true…..

    • latino_boom

      I believe even if we import rice it meant for lean months…and it’s usually a buffer stocks …unlike before we import millions of tons of rice so that the smuggled one will be noticed if they flood the market with rice that they smuggled …ang una munang inilalabas yung sa kanila …hindi inilalabas ni Mike aT Iggy yung NFA rice …yung sa kanila muna kaya ang utang ng NFA eh lumaki dahil hindi nila nabenta agad yung legal na import …if you remember that when Noy Noy assume office they discovered the rotting rice at the Gov’t warehouse 

  • upupperclassman

    Before Philippines can export any rice, we should stop importing first, unless we plan to export what we are importing.


       stupid comment. rice sufficiency does not depend of fish catch or fish importation.

      • upupperclassman

        Brilliant comment. Have you seen Thailand importing rice?

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