Philippines' rice imports to exceed 3 million tonnes by 2024

·Senior Editor
·2 min read
A worker carries on his head a sack of rice inside a government rice warehouse National Food Authority in Quezon city, Metro Manila in Philippines, August 9, 2018. Picture taken August 9, 2018. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
A worker carries on his head a sack of rice inside a government rice warehouse National Food Authority in Quezon city, Metro Manila in Philippines, August 9, 2018. Picture taken August 9, 2018. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that the total import volume of rice to the Philippines will breach the 3 million metric ton (MT) mark over the next two years, with "continued strong demand" for rice from Vietnam.

According to Inquirer, the agency estimates that the rice importation volume for 2022 and 2023 will reach 3.1 million MT, up from its previous projection of 3 million MT.

In addition, data from the Bureau of Plant Industry shows that Vietnam accounts for 1.5 million MT of the total volume of 1.9 million MT of rice imports, as of July 7.

Projections for 2023 say that the Philippines’ milled rice production will hit 12.41 million MT, lower than this year’s 12.6 million MT and 12.41 million MT the year before.

Earlier, the Department of Agriculture said palay (unhusked rice) output for the first half of 2021 declined by 6.8 percent, or a reduction of 1.1 million to 1.3 million MT. Agriculture Undersecretary Fermin Adriano also warned in June that rice prices may increase by as much as P6 per kilogram by the end of the year.

The Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (PCAFI) called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on July 9 to consider declaring a state of calamity or emergency in the agriculture industry to address its problems and prevent a food crisis.

“It might be necessary, I’m not saying it is, for the President to declare a state of emergency or calamity for food sufficiency. In the basis, perhaps it can be reviewed by the legal department and Malacañang, if it’s possible so that the President can encourage and direct the local government units to direct some funds for agriculture production,” PCAFI President Danilo said.

Earlier, Marcos said during a news briefing after the first Cabinet meeting that he’s more interested in increasing the production of rice and corn rather than importing more in order to stabilize the prices of food.

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