PH all set for record harvest, says US think tankBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippines may set a record rice harvest in the crop year that runs to July 2014, as similar prospects await the world’s biggest rice producers, according to a think tank attached to the United States Department of Agriculture.
In its June rice outlook report, the USDA Economic Research Service said Philippine harvest is expected to increase by 3 percent year-on-year to 11.7 million tons of milled rice during the 2013-2014 market year.
Nathan Childs, author of the report, wrote that, at 161.4 million hectares, the area planted to rice is also the largest on record for the country. The report is updated monthly and is based on “the most current estimates” on global supply and demand.
“The Philippines has increased production at a solid pace in recent years, partly due to expanded use of high-yielding hybrid varieties and a steady increase in area,” Childs said.
Also, the think tank holds similar expectations for India, China, Thailand and Vietnam—the biggest rice producers in the world.
Earlier this week, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said Filipinos have enough domestic supply of rice and corn—well before the government’s goal of achieving self-sufficiency.
Alcala apprised world food experts of this situation as he touted the Aquino administration’s achievements during the 38th session of the Food and Agriculture Organization Conference in Italy.
“My government has invested heavily in these strategic agricultural infrastructures for the past three years,” he said. “Today, the Philippines is practically self-sufficient in rice and corn.”
Data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics showed that the total milled rice inventory as of May 1 was 2.61 million—up 12.3 percent from the previous month’s stock level, but down 2.2 percent year-on-year.
The rice inventory as of May 1 is good for 77 days.