Duterte’s first problem: Not enough rice for 100M Filipinos

  • Farm groups said the El Niño phenomenon brought problems concerning food security
  • According to rice retailers, the NFA should replenish its stocks since those in its storage are already six months old and are due for unloading
  • An IRRI official said the country should start importing rice from other countries now since global prices are trending up

While President-elect Rodrigo Duterte seriously talked about the eradication of crimes in the country during his first six months in office, he may be facing a more severe problem that Filipinos will find ironic being an agricultural nation – rice insufficiency.

In an article written by Enrico de la Cruz for Reuters that was wired to InterAksyon on May 27, 2016, it was disclosed that the Philippines suffered much from the El Niño phenomenon experienced by most countries; raising problems concerning food security.

It also added that the upcoming La Niña season will also prevent farmers from bringing back their lands to their normal use since the massive amount of rains will also destroy the crops.

According to Jaime Magbanua, president of the Grains Retailers Confederation of the Philippines, the National Food Authority (NFA) is now facing the need to replenish its stocks, especially that the imported rice stored in its facilities are already six months old and are already due for unloading.

“Some of the NFA’s imported stocks are more than six months old so there’s also a need for them to immediately unload and then replenish,” he said.

For his part, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Deputy Director General for Communication Bruce Tolentino said if the country has any plans on importing rice from other nations, now is the most appropriate time to do so since weather patterns have affected the global prices of farm products.

“Now is the right time to import as prices are starting to trend up,” Tolentino said.

Source :

InterAksyon, BBC, IRRI