Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kilo-for-kilo, Phl now Asia`s fastest rice producer

SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija - Kilo-for-kilo, Philippine rice is the best in Asia. It is the fastest rice producer in the continent, believe it or not, based on world market data.

          Dr. Eufemio Rasco Jr., PhilRice executive director, citing data from the World Market and Trade of the United States Department of Agriculture said that the Philippines, which posted a 97-percent rice self-sufficiency status last year, registered a 4.04 percent average increase in milled rice production over the four-year period from 2010-2013.

          This after the country produced 10.99 million metric tons of milled rice from 9.77 million metric tons in 2011.  

          With this produce, the Philippines surpassed major rice exporters including  China and India, which showed an improvement of only 1.55 and 3.77 percent, respectively.

          Thailand, a leading rice exporter, only posted a 0.39-percent change difference in milled production.

          Tom Slayton, former editor of The Rice Trader and co-author of an article on how rice price crisis could be prevented from becoming a crisis of hunger, noted that Philippines - considered a key importer in the world rice trade - posted zero imports that was maintained at 1.50 million metric tons during the last two years.

          Bangladesh recorded a 0.25-change difference in imports from 2012 to 2013, while China, although one of the largest rice producers in the world, registered 0.10 difference.

          Relating the world rice production data to regional rice industry integration in Asia, researchers Tin Htut Oo, Tim Maung Shwe, and Larry Wong said the “increasing private sector efforts in integrating increasingly ASEAN-wide modern farming and modern economic activities along agri-food supply chains and international trading networks could and should be harnessed and leveraged to complement and supplement on-going government efforts [towards food security in Asia].” 

          Rasco said the institute and the International Rice Research Institute based in Los Baños, Laguna, recently signed a memorandum of agreement to collaborate on conducting researches and promoting technologies.

          The two rice institutes will also share information on researches conducted in the country, and provide intensive training among collaborators. 

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