Piñol is banking on the annual P10 billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) from the tariffication system. It also gets P7 billion from the regular fund to achieve the required sufficiency production volume of 21 million MT of palay.
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Agri chief reaffirms rice self-sufficiency goal
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - April 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has not given up on his dream of seeing the Philippines achieve 100 percent rice self-sufficiency.

“I still believe and am deeply convinced that we can still be able to achieve rice sufficiency,” Piñol said during the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s second quarter national management committee meeting.

“Our  adoption rate of hybrid at inbred seeds is only 60 percent, but we are already hitting 19 million metric tons,” he said.

Apart from this, Piñol is optimistic the country will be able to produce enough rice because farmers are provided with good seeds, irrigation and fertilizer.

It would be recalled in February, Piñol conceded that the country would not achieve 100 percent rice self-sufficiency rate during his term.

Based on latest government data, the country’s rice self-sufficiency rate was 93.44 percent in 2017, while import dependency ratio was 6.56 percent.

Piñol is banking on the annual P10 billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) from the tariffication system. It also gets  P7 billion from the regular fund to achieve the required sufficiency production volume of 21 million MT of palay.

The DA will utilize P3 billion of the RCEF for the procurement of good seeds which will be given for free to the farmers.

According to Piñol, 1.2 million hectares of farmlands will be planted to good seeds, while an additional 600,000 hectares to hybrid rice.

Local rice production declined to 19.05 million MT last year due to the series of typhoons that hit the country.

Industry stakeholders warned that with the liberalization of rice, import dependency may further spike to as much as 20 percent in the long run.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EMMANUEL PIñOL
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