Samar groomed as rice granary | Inquirer Business

Samar groomed as rice granary

By: - Reporter / @kocampoINQ
/ 05:16 AM December 22, 2018

Three of the poorest provinces in the Philippines are set to be the first beneficiaries of an annual billion-peso subsidy for the rice industry next year as the agriculture sector prepares local rice producers with the influx of rice imports in the market.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) plans to develop about 100,000 hectares of farm lands in the provinces of Northern, Eastern and Western Samar to boost the country’s overall rice production.

“The SRDP (Samar Rice Development Program), which will be the first major beneficiary of the Rice Tariffication Program with an estimated P10 billion fund for 2019, aims to introduce new rice farming technology and equipment … to contribute to the reduction of poverty in the three provinces,” Piñol said on his Facebook page.


The Rice Tariffication Act, which is set to be signed into law by President Duterte, will provide an annual subsidy of P10 billion for the rice industry with the aim of lowering the cost of producing rice locally.


The country’s production cost for rice is P12 a kilo, or nearly double the production cost in Vietnam at P6.50 a kilo and Thailand at P9 a kilo, where most of the rice imports come from.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, principal author of the bill and chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said that even with the creation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund where the collected imported duties from rice are to be pooled, it would take a long time before farmers could benefit from it. Hence, the need for the subsidy.

DA aims to increase the average rice yield in the Samar provinces to 6 metric tons (MT) per hectare (ha) from 2 MT/ha by introducing high-yield rice varieties and establishing solar irrigation systems in rain-fed areas all over the island.

By 2020 or before the end of President Duterte’s term, the program is expected to contribute around 1.2 million MT of paddy rice to the national production, which will transform Samar Island to one of the country’s major rice-producing areas.

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TAGS: Agriculture, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, rice imports, rice industry

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