Duterte gov’t faces early test over food security; rice policy in focus
WHILE Philippine elections this month were dominated by talk about crushing crime, the next president faces another critical early test: ensuring there is enough rice for the country’s more than 100 million people.
The Philippine crop is suffering mounting drought damage, just as the country’s big Asian rice suppliers also suffer from an El Niño weather pattern.
In a country where rice accounts for about a quarter of the expenditure of the poor, any supply disruptions are extremely sensitive. Big purchases by the world’s third-biggest importer can also send shockwaves through markets.
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