The Necessity of Rice

Rice is the most important staple crop in the Philippines, providing food for more than 80 million people. Rice has been part of Filipino diet and life that I cannot imagine the Philippines without it.

With the looming rice crisis due to tightening supplies and soaring prices, we have reasons to be alarmed. A United Nations aid official already warned that more Filipinos will go hungry as rice prices soar.

However, Secretary Arthur Yap of Department of Agriculture assured that the country is not facing a food crisis and that consumers can expect enough supply of commodities this year, especially the staple—rice, the Manila Times reported.

The Philippine rice fields cannot produce enough rice the whole country needs. We have been importing rice.

Rice producing countries are reportedly tightening rice exports due to low production level in the past few months. It is expected that rice production in these countries will continue to decrease due to factors like unpredictable weather condition and the continuous land conversion to accommodate industrialization.

The issue of rice shortage is not new to the Filipinos.

The Philippines has several occasions of severe rice crises in the 20-year period Consumer International reported. Rice supply was short in 1984-1985, on precarious level in 1990, short again in 1995, then it started to drop sharply to negative levels up to the crisis in 1998-1999.

Rice shortage puts our country into danger zone. Extreme rice shortage encourages hoarding and smuggling. It results to more hungry and angry people. The revolution of the hungry is more threatening.

The Philippine government needs to strengthen the agriculture sector to assure that the country has sustainable food supply.

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Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!
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6 thoughts on “The Necessity of Rice

  1. You are correct rice is very important to all Filipinos. Exactly the government must strengthen the agriculture sector.They should introduce to farmers some ways of growing different crops or plant that may substitute rice. It is perhaps time to find other alternative when rice is scarce. Is it possible to serve mashed potatoes in our table daily if rice is scarce? Well, i think id be excited to eat mashed potatoes daily.

    batang buotan says:
    It’s a good idea. However, potatoes are not grown substantially in the Philippines. Besides, Filipinos’ preferred staple food is still rice. Cassava, probably could replace rice but Filipino’s discriminating taste will also be considered. We grow cassava here not for human food but for industrial purposes (made into alcohol). With the hype on alternative fuel (biofuels), it seems the government is more excited to plant Jatropha than camote, or cassava.

    I think, the government must look into some ways to increase yield of rice, stop at once land conversion especially those that are planted with rice that will be converted into industrial estate, improve infrastructure – farm to market road, irrigation system and post-harvest facilities, and most important is to increase the allocation for agriculture sector.

  2. Rice crisis:
    For me, it is just a simple equation
    ^intake > supply result is scarcity thus causing injustice

    Resolution:
    Good governance and right technology and implementation.
    Stop corruptions…mahiya naman nasa governo kapal ng mukha
    niyo remember public servant kayo, maglakad kayong walang
    bodyguard at sumunod kayo sa trapik…
    Religion must be involved at all times in project implementation..hindi kwento lang…lumabas kayo..
    Public, it is time to be involved…huwag natin hayaan ang
    mga manipulator…

    batang buotan says:
    Good governance is what we need – a major contributing factor in the issue of food security.

  3. Hi Gervacio!

    Napanood mo ba yung expose ng Imbestigador ng Bayan sa 24 Oras tungkol sa Donasyon ng Vietnam na Tone-Toneladang Bigas para sa mga nasalanta ng *Nakalimutan ko kung anong Pangalan ng Bagyong Yun* last year?

    Balitang Nai-Auction na ng NFA ang mga bigas sa halagang P 10 Billion.

    Now, sabihin nilang May Shortage.

    batang buotan says:
    Salamat sa pagbahagi mo ng impormasyong ito. Hindi ko yun napanood at hindi ko rin nabalitaan ‘yun kaya hindi pa nararapat na magbigay ako ng komento tungkol sa bagay na yun. Kung totoo man yun, ano kaya ang dahilan at bakit Na-acution at hindi naibigay sa mga biktima ng bagyo?

  4. ^Ang sabi sa Interview ng Sec. ng DFA [Na nakalimutan ko yung name] Pina-auction nila yung Bigas para raw makadagdag sa Budget ng Government,Pero duda ako run,Baka kasi Mapunta ang Karamihan nun sa Militar….

    Di ako nagtataka bakit di na tayo Pina-Prioritize ng Vietnamese Government sa Bigas ngayong may rice Shortage….To think karamihan sa mga Rice And Farming Experts ng Vietnam,Thailand at China ang Nag-aaral mismo sa Pinas.

    batang buotan says:
    Tama ka.Hindi talaga natin maiiwasan ang magtanong bakit di natin kayang tustusan ang pangangailangan natin sa bigas gayung maliban sa IRRI, meron din naman tayong PhilRice. Sa pagkakaalam ko napakagaling ng PhilRice sa pagsasagawa ng pagtuklas ng bagong paraan para maparami ang “yield per hectare” ng palay.

    Naitanong ko tuloy, may naitutulong kaya ang CARP? Lumalaki kaya ang produksiyon ng palay mula nang itinatag ang mga Agrarian Reform Communities (ARC). At nararanasan na kaya ng mga magbubukid ang konting kaginhawaan.Inaasikaso kaya ang ating patubig ng NIA? Diba may mga “subsidy” tulad ng mga pataba? (Teka lang, naalala ko ang fertilizer scam.) Ang alam ko tumutulong ang gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng “farm inputs” at “post harvest facilities”. Pero nakakaabot kaya sa karamihan o nawawala na lang kusa.

    Salamat Imbestigador. Sa iyong mga naibahagi, nagiging mapagmatyag kami.

  5. I don’t think that there really is rice shortage.
    I just hope this isn’t another scam because this issue really affects everyone especially those who are less privileged.

    nindot imong mga blogs. padayun 🙂

    batang buotan says:
    Thanks for dropping by.

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