PH’s rice output to hit record high this year
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the high buying price of both fresh and dry paddy rice has resulted in a planting frenzy among rice farmers in the country, which could increase the expected production this year.
“Projected palay harvest ending 2018 is placed at 19.4 million metric tons [MT], higher by 120,000MT compared to 2017 production,” Piñol said.
“This will be the highest recorded rice harvest of the country, which is now 93 percent self-sufficient,” he added.
While rains caused by a series of tropical storms damaged a sizable area in Central Luzon and parts of Ilocos Region, other parts of the country were able to expand the planted areas, Piñol said.
He then pointed out that in Western Visayas alone, the area planted to rice in the first semester of this year increased by 40,000 hectares over the same period last year.
Most of the expansion areas are rainfed with an average production of less than 3 million MT.
“The planting frenzy is mainly caused by record-high buying prices of palay ranging from P20 to P24 per kilo for fresh and up to P29 per kilo for clean and dry,” Piñol further said.
Farmers fresh palay was previously bought at P8 to P12 per kilo, making the farmers the poorest sector of society for many years.