DA reassures rice supply enough for entire 2020

May 17 ------ The Department of Agriculture on Tuesday reassured the public that the Philippines’ rice supply is adequate for the entire year with a comfortable level of inventory. "Going into the lean months and onto December 31, 2020, we have enough supply of food, and that includes our major staple – rice,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement. “We remain consistent that our total projected supply of rice by end of December 2020 would be 17.994 million metric tons (MMT), while our total projected demand would be 14.668 MMT, leaving a year-end inventory of 3.326 MMT," Dar said. With the projected surplus, the beginning inventory for January 2021 is seen to last for 94 days. The DA estimated the projected 2020 year-end supply using three components, namely: - Beginning stock in January 2020 or the surplus in December 2019 - Total domestic palay production, from January to December 2020; and - Total rice imports, January to December 2020, including the 300,000 MT to be imported by the DTI's Philippine International Trading Corp. under a government-to government arrangement. The respective figures are gathered by the DA's Field Operations Service (FOS) from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Bureau of Customs (BOC) on rice imports, other relevant government agencies, and DA regional field offices (RFOs) in tandem with local government units (LGUs), on palay production. According to the PSA’s supply utilization accounts of selected agricultural commodities, of the total rice demand an average of only 88% serves as food or what is actually eaten while the remaining 12% is alloted for seeds, feeds, and industrial uses. Thus, of the total projected demand of 14.488 MMT, the actual rice that would be consumed as food would only amount to 12.9 MMT, the DA said. A Filipino consumes a total of 118.81 kilograms annually, equivalent to 325.5 grams of milled rice daily, the DA said, citing PSA data. With a current population of 108.66 million Filipinos, the country's total annual consumption would amount to 12.9 MMT. “We hope this will clarify issues on our rice supply, demand and consumption situation. Again, we assure the nation that the DA is doing its best to secure the country with enough and affordable food for all. Our programs to make this happen are already in place to help our farmers and fisherfolk,” Dar said. Source: gmanetwork.com