Rice production up by 1.65 million tons in 2017 – gov’t data
Filipino farmers produced an additional 1.65 million metric tons (MT) of palay in 2017 over their harvest the previous year, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
For 2017, 19.28 million MT of palay were produced compared to 17.63 million MT in 2016, or a 9.36 percent increase year-on-year, a PSA report dated Jan. 22, 2018, showed.
The PSA attributed the increase in production to sufficient irrigation, favorable weather conditions and higher yielding seed varieties.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol said Thursday that the higher yield resulted in a 2.7-million MT surplus in rice supply going into 2018.
Piñol said he expected the surplus to rise to a “record” 3 million MT by the end of the first quarter of the year after the current harvest season.
“Sobra-sobra ang ating bigas ngayon (We currently have an oversupply of rice),” Piñol said in a radio interview.
The report on the huge rise in local palay production came as the National Food Authority (NFA) announced that it was experiencing a shortage in its buffer stock of low-priced rice.
NFA officials explained that it could not buy local palay because it could only offer P17 per kilo to farmers, who would rather sell their produce to traders who buy the grain at P18 to P20 per kilo.
The NFA said it was requesting the government to allow the importation of 250,000 MT of rice, which the Philippines traditionally buys from Vietnam or Thailand. /cbb
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