Philippine increasingly relying on food imports — PSA
Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - December 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is now relying more on food imports to ensure sufficient supply and stabilize prices, according to recently released data by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The Food Balance Sheets (FBS) for 2016-2018 showed that the import dependency ratio (IDR) for food has risen steadily to 29.16 percent in 2018 from 22.67 percent in 2017 and 22.51 percent in 2016.

This means that more than a fourth of the country’s foodstuff are now imported.

Import dependence rose in 2018 as the country’s self-sufficiency ratio (SSR) for aggregated foodstuff fell to 79.43 percent in 2018 from 83.22 percent in 2016 and 86.80 percent in 2017.

This indicates that while most of the country’s foodstuff are still produced locally, supply has fallen last year.

The FBS gives a comprehensive picture of the country’s food supply during a specified reference period and provides an indication of the adequacy of food supply relative to the nutritional requirement of the population.

It is used for planning policies and programs related to food security and nutrition.

Increased food importation saw an annual per capita increase in the supply of cereals, meat and sources of fat and protein.

Meanwhile, double-digit reductions were seen in the available food supply for vegetables, fish and seafood.

As of last year, the country’s food supply remains sufficient to meet the daily calorie, protein and fat requirement for all Filipinos on the average.

In 2018, the daily per capita supply of calories from all food products at 2,445.42 kilocalories was 4.74 percent higher than the previous year’s level.

Compared with the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) of 1,810.00 kilocalories based on the results of Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) 8th National Nutrition Survey in 2013, the daily per capita supply of 2,445.42 kilocalories was enough to support the daily nutrient requirement as indicated by the adequacy ratio of 135.11 percent.

In the case of protein, per capita food supply was estimated at 78.71 grams per day, a 3.03 percent gain from the previous year’s record.  It registered a 139.31 percent adequacy ratio for the daily per capita supply of protein in 2018. Primary protein sources were cereals, meat, and seafood.

The daily per capita food supply of fats grew by 10.77 percent in 2018.  It was estimated at 60.07 grams per day.

PHILIPPINE STATISTICS AUTHORITY PSA
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