Manila – Despite the surge in prices of the country’s staple food, the Department of Agriculture (DA) assured the public that the rice supply is sufficient.
DA Senior Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian said rice supply will meet Filipino food needs in the third quarter of 2023.
The carry-over stock of 1.8 million metric tons (MMT) and import arrivals of 1.8MMT are enough to cover the demand and consumption for seven MMT from January through June, Sebastian said.
Sebastian, who is in charge of the DA’s Masagana Rice Industry Program (MRIP), said by June, the stock available would last for more than two months.
He attributed the current movement in rice prices to the “high cost of production locally and globally.”
He said, “We expect this to stabilize.”.
In the January to June rice planting season, a “bountiful” harvest is expected to boost the supply by 6 percent, he said.
According to PhilRice PRISM data, 8.153 MMT palay production in 2022 will increase to 8.605 MMT palay or 5.6 MMT milled rice in 2023.
To maintain a 30-day buffer stock of agricultural commodities, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., who is also the DA chief, ordered the department to investigate the feasibility and efficiency of building silos to store rice and corn.
According to Marcos, the government may reach 100 percent rice self-sufficiency with its agricultural initiatives. (With reports from Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)
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