Agri group says PH must produce rice at P8/kg to compete with Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar
The Coalition for Agriculture Modernization in the Philippines (CAMP) said the Philippines should produce rice at P8 to P9 per kilogram in order to be achieve food security and be competitive with Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar.
Malaya Business Insight reported that CAMP believes the two goals could be done using more rice hybrids, direct seeding and mechanization, and by applying more fertilizers close to the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) recommended rate of 150 kilograms of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium per hectare.
CAMP, in a position paper, said government should give time for rice farmers in favorable rice-growing areas to become competitive imports while making those who cannot compete cultivate other crops.
It also said the strategy should be complemented by extra funds, proper execution of rural development programs, and private investments that link the producers and farmers.
CAMP said government must keep investing in farm-to-market roads, irrigation and drainage systems, grain processing centers, slaughter houses and cold storage facilities.
It also said mechanization should include four-wheel tractors, rice combines and direct seeding technology.
Credit to rural financing institutions should be subsidized at a 1 percent rate relending to small farms.
CAMP also recommended the lifting of the five-hectare limit on land reform to allow farmers to expand, the condonation of the debts of agrarian reform beneficiaries as a subsidy to small farmers, and erasing the first mortgages to the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).