The Philippines has recorded its highest rice production level at 19.44 million metric tons (MT) this year, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said on Tuesday.
“I just got the report this morning and record volume rice production is amounting to 19.44 million metric tons. This has surpassed the highest rice production in previous years. Ito na yung new record for the country to have reached this level of rice production (This rice production level is the newest Philippine record),” Dar told reporters on the sidelines of the groundbreaking of the PHP40 million processing and packaging facility at the Benguet Agripinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) here.
This figure is higher than the 18.81 million MT produced in 2019 and the 19.07 million MT recorded in 2018, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Dar said this lowers the country’s rice production deficit.
“Naitaas natin ng 3 percent although we were looking at 93 percent so ang ibig sabihin mas kokonti na ang deficit natin (we were able to raise the production rate by 3 percent although the target was 93 percent. This only means that the country’s deficit is lowered),” he said.
He said that the country achieved a high production rate despite the series of typhoons that hit several areas and the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
He added that every year, the government increases its targets to be able to cut on the rice importation needs of the whole country.
The biggest contributors to local rice production is Central Luzon, followed by Cagayan Valley and Ilocos Region, Dar said.
In the Visayas, Iloilo is the top producer of rice while the regions of Northern Mindanao and Soccksargen are the biggest contributors to the country’s rice production in Mindanao.
Dr. Cameron Odsey, regional director of the Department of Agriculture in the Cordillera, said the region is 106-percent rice sufficient with produce mainly coming from the provinces of Apayao, Kalinga and Ifugao.
Source: Philippines News agency