Anticipating the impact of the Asean economic integration by 2015 on local rice production and trade, the Department of Agriculture is spending P26 million for a baseline study on the local rice sector in comparison with those of other rice-producing countries.
The funding for the study will come from the department’s national rice program. It will cover data on the rice sectors of the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India and China, as well as the various government policies that affect competitiveness and marketing of commercial and hybrid rice varieties in the said countries.
Data gathered should help the government craft and manage interventions that would make the Philippines competitive in rice production, processing, and marketing before 2015, when imports become more accessible to member-countries, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said.
The study will also consider the effects of climate change on rice production and the possible solutions, he said.
“We want a deeper knowledge (of the rice sector) as we anticipate the opening of markets in Asia on various food products come 2015 under the Asean Economic Community (AEC),” Alcala said.
The AEC, adopted in 2007, aims to transform the Asean into a single hub with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor, and freer flow of capital.