No need to import rice until next year, says Imee Marcos
MANILA, Philippines – Farmers in the Philippines need not worry about the government importing rice until next year, because local supply is seen to exceed consumer demand, Senator Imee Marcos said on Tuesday.
Marcos pointed out that there are no reasonable sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances that can stand as sufficient grounds for more rice imports this year.
“The Department of Agriculture has no reason to call for any more rice imports, which will only push down farmgate prices of palay. Our farmers are doing a great job producing more than ample domestic supply,” she said in a statement.
The projected 5.13 million metric tons (mmt) of local rice harvests in the third quarter of the year is expected to surpass the domestic demand of 3.7 mmt, providing a buffer stock of 1.43mmt by end-September, according to Marcos.
Meanwhile, she noted that locally grown rice is likewise seen to reach beyond the demand of 4.02 mmt, reaching up to 6.24 mmt in the fourth quarter.
This, Marcos said, will provide an additional buffer stock of 2.22 mmt, with the total reserve of rice harvests totaling to 3.65 mmt by the end of the year.
Filipino farmers have repeatedly decried the continuous importation of rice, which they said, tips the scale against locally grown rice.
Since the second year of the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte, rice self-sufficiency has steadily decreased from 95 percent in 2017, 86.2 percent in 2018, 79.8 percent in 2019, and 85 percent in 2020.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.