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Jul 29, 2016 @ 3:51

Oops, postpone muna! Rice-sufficiency goal, moved to 2019

We can, but not today. Looks like we gonna have to wait a little more longer for the rice-self sufficiency goal to happen.

With the funds not yet realizable in the short run, the Duterte administration said that target for self-sufficiency in rice production will be moved to 2019, Inquirer reported.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol told reporters the Department of Agriculture (DA) would require about P64 billion to attain the national rice platform objective over the next three years.

P31 billion of the total budget has been allocated for spending next year, 2017. This has been part of the DA’s amended budget proposal for 2017, the report said.

“(Achieving rice self-sufficiency) will be dependent on whether Malacañang will act favorably on the new budget request I submitted,” he said. “It will take three years because the necessary funding is so large (we need to spread it out over a longer period)” he added.

Piñol said he’s still keen to announce the efforts to push for rice self-sufficiency even as some Cabinet members and economists would debate over importation in view of risks to farm production and the irregularity of climate.

He used the same reasoning in defending the priority of the policy on production over importation, which the past government forcefully resorted to due to deficits in output, Inquirer said.

“We have seen the negative impact of El Niño on our food supply,” the DA chief said. “Who among the economic minds right now can assure me that El Niño would not hit the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia at the same time (in the near future)?”, he added.


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