DA: Palay production hit 20.06 million MT in 2023

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
DA: Palay production hit 20.06 million MT in 2023
A farmer dries rice grains at a road in Baliuag, Bulacan on October 9, 2023.
STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — Palay production hit a record high of 20.06 million metric tons in 2023, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“Our goal is to push that rice harvest volume further but that could be a challenge this year because of the water shortage we expect due to El Niño,” Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. said during a meeting with stakeholders at the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center on Jan. 26.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that palay output was 1.5 percent higher than the 19.76 million MT recorded in 2022.

The historic harvest translates to 13.2 million MT of rice.

The previous record was in 2021, with 19.96 million MT of palay harvest.

Rice imports declined to 3.5 million MT in 2023 from 3.8 million MT in 2022.

The Philippines has a total rice consumption of 13.5 million MT annually, plus 1.85 million MT for a 50-day buffer.

Laurel noted that the agriculture and fisheries sector posted a 0.7 percent growth in production value.

Livestock and poultry sectors grew by 2.7 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, despite the continuing cases of African swine flu and avian influenza.

Crops contributed 58.7 percent to the total value of production but only grew 0.1 percent.

Laurel committed to lowering the production costs of highland vegetables to increase farmers’ income while providing cheaper options to consumers.

The DA is also cracking down on smuggling of agricultural products, he said.

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