Written by the Web Team

 

A simple formula forwarded by a Department of Agriculture official showed the country achieved a 98-percent self-sufficiency level in rice last year.

A memorandum to Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala by Assistant Secretary Dante S. Delima said with improved crop yields, the country may actually be gunning for 103-percent self-sufficiency for the first semester of this year.

This figure would beat the schedule for the yearend goal of 100-percent self-sufficiency in rice, the memorandum said.

Delima said the country’s improved rice sufficiency ratio was based on a study that considered the interplay of rice production, per capita consumption (PCC) and population.

“We need a [simplified] rice self-sufficiency ratio that can depict actual key result areas being contemplated in the Food Staples Sufficiency Program [FSSP] such as managing demand, minimizing rice wastage and easing the pressure on rice through the consumption of other food staples,” Delima said in the memorandum.

Copies of the document were presented to reporters on Wednesday.

Delima, who also coordinates the National Rice Program (NRP), said that using a simplified calculation, a 128.9-kilo PCC can be eventually pared down to 119, which is still higher than the global range of 90 kilos to 110 kilos.

Delima said the NRP calculation included the 10 million Filipinos living and working overseas in the total global rice-consuming population.

Delima’s assertion came after government think-tank Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) forwarded adverse recommendations on the country’s staple. He said both PIDS and the ADB recommended the Philippines abandon its rice self-sufficiency program and cut agreements with Vietnam, Thailand and other countries to ensure sustained rice supply.

What PIDS and the ADB did not say is that instead of expanding, the global rice trade has, in fact, been contracting, with the total volume reduced from seven percent of the total global output to only five percent this year, according to Delima.

The NRP’s figure contrasts with statistics from other official sources that showed the country was only 94-percent sufficient in rice as of 2012.

This was arrived at, Delima claims, on the basis of palay production, imports and exports.

He proposes using a net rice self-sufficiency ratio (NRSSR) by saying that it was estimated by simply studying the interrelationship of rice supply, including beginning stock and net production in milled rice terms, over demand, which is comprised of PCC multiplied by the population, and the provision for 60-day buffer stock added.

The simplified ratio also considered a portion of palay produced to be immediately set aside for seeds, processing, feeds and waste, unlike the old practice of deducting these provisions from the milled rice produced.

NRSSR without imports is simply the supply, or the beginning stock plus rice production in milled rice terms (MRT) minus the demand comprised of the PCC multiplied by the population and the 60-day buffer stock added multiplied by 100.

The gross rice self-sufficiency ratio with imports is simply the supply comprised of the beginning stock plus the net production in MRT, plus imports less export divided by the demand that is comprised of the PCC multipled by the population and the 60-day buffer stock added, and then multiplied by 100.

“With this simplified formula, the NRP is confident that a more realistic rice self-sufficiency ratio, which can reflect the actual situation on the ground, and can incorporate the impact of our various programs, advocacies and interventions,” Delima said.

By Marvin N. Benaning, July 4, 2013

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute