Philippines sees 500,000-tonnne rice shortfall in 2001

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at
Wed Jan 17 19:15:42 MST 2001

14 January 2001

Philippines sees 500,000-tonnne rice shortfall in 2001
MANILA: The Philippines is expecting a shortfall of about 500,000 tonnes of
rice this year despite improved rice production, officials said here
Speaking on a government radio broadcast, chief presidential aide Executive
Secretary Edgardo Angara said this shortfall would have to be filled by
imports although he did not specify when they would come in or which country
would supply the rice.
The Philippines would likely suffer rice shortages until 2003 when the
government hopes to hit self-sufficiency, Angara said.
About 500,000 tonnes of rice was imported last year to meet the country's
need, he added.
Despite the shortfall, Philippine rice production in 2001 is expected to hit
13.8 million tonnes, a 7.8 percent increase on 2000 production levels,
Agriculture Secretary Domingo Panganiban said in the same radio show.
The government made these high projections for 2001 despite the anticipated
return of the drought-inducing El Nino weather phenomenon this year,
Panganiban added.
Panganiban said the high target would be reached by using hybrid rice
varieties which could boost production from 3.5 tonnes per hectare (2.47
acres) to about six tonnes per hectare.
President Joseph Estrada has made food security a priority of his
administration but has frequently complained that high population growth
will always leave the country with a shortage of basic foods. (AFP)
 For reprint rights:Times Syndication Service

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