Phl wastes P23-million worth of rice daily
- Louella Desiderio () - April 20, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The country wastes at least $535,000 or P23 million worth of rice per day, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said.

In its Rice Today report sent yesterday, the IRRI said that the daily rice wastage of the country translates to at least $223 million a year, an amount sufficient to feed 4.3 million people.

Citing data from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute under the Department of Science and Technology, IRRI said that each Filipino wastes an average of three tablespoons or nine grams of rice daily, which is equivalent to 3.3 kilos per year.

Rice is wasted when too much is cooked but is not consumed.

The rice leftover in plates or in the pot for hours will get spoiled and will have to be thrown out at the end of the day.

“This is how a family as well as many households and restaurants in the Philippines waste this high demand political commodity which feeds half of the world’s population,” IRRI said.

“With 94 million and 9 grams of wasted rice per day, the total wastage is 308,000 tons, 36 percent of the 2011 rice imports,” IRRI said.

The country’s rice imports reached 860,000 metric tons last year.

IRRI said the rice wastage varies in the different regions of the country.

Luzon had the highest daily rice wastage at 16 grams per capita.

The IRRI said Visayas and Mindanao each have daily rice wastage of 12 grams per capita.

IRRI said that middle-income families waste more rice compared to those with low income.

“Apparently, the more people have, the more they waste,” it said.

The IRRI said that based on a study conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) titled “2011 Global food losses and food waste,” a third of global food is wasted.

FAO said rice losses globally are due to poor harvesting and post harvest activities, inefficient transportation, inadequate processing and market spoilage.

Flordeliza Bordey, an economist at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), said in the report that campaigns on raising awareness are key to prevent rice wastage.

She said PhilRice started a rice awareness campaign last year.

“The messages of this campaign are ‘eat your rice right’ and ‘save rice, save lives,’ which advocated reducing rice waste at the consumer level,” she said.

She said PhilRice is also proposing that the campaign be implemented this year to reach out to more consumers.

IRRI said that while research institutions are already taking part in securing food for future generations through high-yielding crops, consumers would also have to do their part to solve the problem.

With rice being wasted around the world, IRRI said that consumers must start practicing responsible consumption.

“The hundred tons of rice wasted each year, not just in the Philippines but in the whole world, need to be taken seriously. Our social conscience will tell us that the rice we waste (or money, for that matter) can just be the very rice we need to feed the hungry and the undernourished,” IRRI added.

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FLORDELIZA BORDEY FOOD FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION FOOD AND NUTRITION RESEARCH INSTITUTE INTERNATIONAL RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE IRRI PHILIPPINE RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE RICE RICE TODAY VISAYAS AND MINDANAO
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