More investments in R&D needed to improve rice competitiveness
Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) agreed with a professor from the UP School of Economics (UPSE) that there’s a need to invest further in agricultural Research and Development (R&D) to help achieve rice competitiveness in the country.
“The goal to attain a competitive rice economy by 2022, as stated in the PhilRice strategic plan 2017-2022, through cutting-edge agriculture innovations guided by science-based and supportive policies is consistent with the broader objective –increasing growth potential under the Philippine development plan 2017-2022,” Emmanuel F. Esguerra of UPSE said.
Esguerra explained that as of now, producing rice in the Philippines is still more expensive than in our neighboring exporting countries such as Vietnam and Thailand.
Some of the factors that contribute to the higher cost of rice production include labor cost and machinery, low yield per hectare, and high marketing costs.
“High prices harm poor Filipino households more than anyone else. These households spend around 20 percent of their incomes on rice alone,” Esguerra said.
“Technological adoption is a tricky business that requires the collective wisdom of science and social science communities in the service of the farmers, in the service of the Filipino nation,” he added