PH to import 187,000 tons of rice as buffer stock


03:11 AM March 15th, 2013


The Philippines is set to import 187,000 metric tons of rice as buffer stock for this year’s lean season, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said on Thursday.

Alcala told reporters that the National Food Authority (NFA) Council would prepare to buy some 187,000 tons of rice through a government-to-government deal.

This month, the NFA would start soliciting bids from qualified countries for the rice requirement, Alcala said.

Currently, only Vietnam and Thailand have rice purchase agreements with the Philippines.

“The latest date for the bidding would be April. The rice should arrive before June 30 in time for the lean season,” Alcala said.

The lean season runs from June to August.

Alcala said the total volume of rice to be imported by the NFA already covers the omnibus minimum access volume (MAV) for rice under the World Trade Organization.

Under the agreement with the WTO, the Philippines has committed to a minimum access volume of about 350,000 tons for rice, with the tariff rate set at 50 percent. MAV refers to the minimum volume of farm produce allowed to enter the Philippines at reduced tariffs, while shipments outside MAV pay higher rates. Manila has reduced imports by more than half this year as lean months become shorter due to the early cropping scheme implemented by the Department of Agriculture’s National Rice Program.

“Because of our early cropping scheme, we were able to break tradition so we can now expect harvest by June. In other words, we have shortened our lean months. So we may no longer need to import that much this year,” Alcala explained.

The Philippines was, for a time, the world’s biggest rice importer. It shipped in 500,000 tons of grain last year. Of the total, 120,000 tons was purchased by the NFA to serve as buffer stock during the lean season.

In 2011, the country imported 860,000 tons of rice, with the private sector importing 600,000 tons, while farmers’ groups accounted for 60,000 tons. The NFA on the other hand, imported 200,000 tons during the same period.

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  • carlcid

    There is actually really nothing wrong with importing rice. It is prudent to have stockpiles, especially before the typhoons come raging in. However, the Aquino administration seems to be contradicting its own claims that the Philippines will soon be self-sufficient in rice production. That is a pipe-dream which would only come at great cost and for no real practical purpose. Masagana 99 is proof of that. Better to concentrate on higher-value crops, farm-to-market roads and post-harvest facilities than to foolishly attempt to attain rice self-sufficiency. It would be a Pyrrhic victory, even if it were attained.

  • NoWorryBHappy

    Akala ko eh, mag-eexport na tayo ng bigas ?
    Ano ba talaga ?

  • Apolinario

    Cencia na nauna kasi yabang eh. 

  • Sandy Bulet

    Anong nangyari? Akala ko ba target natin na makapag export ng rice this year?

  • Apolinario

    Pag nalaman ng mga botante ito malamang magiging 6-6 ang resulta ng botohan sa senado.

  • adscity_info

    Abolish unli-rice and extra rice in all restaurants!


    abangan ninyo pag upo ni senator  NOTED sa agriculture malamang  pati kangkong aangkatin na natin sa ibang bansa

  • BawalAngReklamador

    Usong-uso na kasi ang mga UNLI-RICE na restaurant ngayon

  • J

    Mga kadahilanan siguro kung bakit:

    1. Maraming kumain ng kanin ang Pinoy2. Maraming nasasayang na kanin sa mga restaurants.
    3. Sadyang pinahihintulutan mag-import ang mga may kapit sa pamahalaan
    4. Mababa ang ani kada ektarya ng palayan
    5. Kokonte na ang magsasaka
    6. Kumokonte na ang area ng sakahing lupa dahil sa housing at industrial projects

    Aba teka, di ba sabi ni PNoy dapat hindi na mag-i-import ng bigas ang PH?

  • nickmanila

    Tuesday Aquino told the Euromoney Philippines Investment Forum at Peninsula Manila Hotel in Makati. Weather permitting, we hope to strengthen our position as regards rice self-sufficiency, and regain our footing in the export markets by exporting 100 metric tons of high quality rice in 2013,
    Two days later we are told we are importing 187,000 tons of rice.
    Since he became president every year he tells the world we are ready to export rice. Stood in front of APEC IMF ASEAN to name a few and said this year we are going to export rice. Three years down the track and Surprise still importing.

    • Karabkatab

      It seems the Phils. will not cease on importing rice from other countries.  This is a money making venture for favored traders.  Just, look at some of our state agricultural schools.    No one wants to enroll and study agriculture anymore.  We have a serious problem ahead of us if we cannot fix this basic problem on rice sufficiency.

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