DA targets a competitive rice yield
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is targeting a national average rice yield of 6 tons per hectare (t/ha) at P8 per kilogram (/kg) production cost for the Filipino farmers to survive the competition in the ASEAN rice market.
“This target, supported by strategic government interventions in the medium term (until 2022), will make our farmers competitive and sustain the nation’s rice industry in the long run,” said Dr. Flordeliza H. Bordey, senior socio-economist of the DA’s Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice).
Asked if this is grounded on the goal of rice self-sufficiency, the agricultural policy expert said targeting a higher yield with lower production cost is “never just a question of self-sufficiency.”
“It’s about maintaining the profitability of rice farmers and increasing their competitiveness,” she emphasized.
Competitiveness, according to PhilRice, is beyond rice self-sufficiency
With the ASEAN integration, the Philippines is confronted with a different economic scenario. Hence, targeting rice self-sufficiency is no longer enough.
Bordey reiterated that the country must produce rice at a competitive price so we can sell it in a common market.
“As our commitment to the World Trade Organization, we now have to replace our quantitative restriction (QR) policy with its tariff equivalent,” she said.
These policy amendments are now at the House of Representatives and the Senate awaiting to be enacted into laws.
When fully implemented, the government can no longer restrict the total amount of rice to be imported in the country.