The Department of Agriculture (DA) National Rice Program reported that this year’s local palay production is expected to reach 19.50 million metric tons (MMT) or 12.754MMT despite global challenges that include the increase in prices of fuel and fertilizer, among other inputs.
The DA’s 2022 rice supply and demand outlook as of September 15 showed that the total annual supply is at 17.364MMT, while the total annual usage is at 15.137MMT.
There will be an ending stock of 2.228 MMT equivalent to 60 days.
The expected import arrival is at 2.751MMT for the first three quarters of the year.
While all of the remaining issued import clearances by the Bureau of Plant Industry will only be valid until the third quarter and imports are yet to be estimated on the last quarter of this year, based on historical trend, import arrivals start to decline by fourth quarter in time for the peak harvest from October to November.
The DA is confident that there will be enough rice supply for the holiday season.
In terms of the retail price of commercial rice in Metro Manila markets, the DA Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service reported no significant movements from June 2022 to September 23, 2022.
The prevailing retail prices for imported well-milled and regular milled rice remain at P39 and P38 per kilogram, respectively. For local well-milled and regular milled rice, on the other hand, the prevailing prices are at P40 and P38 per kilogram, respectively.
For 2023, the DA targets a volume of production of 20.24MMT of palay through higher Rice Program budget in complementation with the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund implementation.
The DA also continues to implement various projects and support services to boost the local rice production for a rice-secure Philippines. The agency distributes high quality seeds, fertilizer discount vouchers, biofertilizers, and farm machinery and equipment. It also supports the establishment of facilities and construction of irrigation projects, among other infrastructure.
As of August 31, 2022, a total of 527,071 bags of hybrid seeds and 479,483 bags of certified seeds were distributed to eligible farmer-beneficiaries to cover 1.006 million hectares.
For the fertilizer discount, 634,298 vouchers were already generated amounting to P1.13 billion covering 674,558 hectares. Out of these generated vouchers, 174,996 vouchers amounting to P322.76 million have been claimed to cover 198,953 hectares. In addition, 83,832 packs of BioN were distributed nationwide, covering 14,766.40 hectares of rice fields.
The DA Rice Program also distributed 442 production and post-harvest machinery and equipment including tractors, harvesters, rice mills, hauling trucks, and dryers, and established 24 drying facilities.
Moreover, 282 projects consisting of diversion dams, shallow tube wells, and 6,787 linear meters of irrigation canals were constructed to serve an area of 1,449 hectares. Rehabilitation of Small-Scale Irrigation Projects were also done which restored up to 393 hectares of irrigated rice areas. This includes the rehabilitation of 5,045 linear meters of irrigation canals and four diversion dams.
The DA also facilitates trainings with individual rice farmers to equip them with knowledge on leadership and management, soft skills, project management, digital tools for agriculture, and agri-entrepreneurship. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID, photo by Dexter Bacani)