The Philippines will need to import an additional 1.2 million tons of rice before July to ensure the country has at least 60 days of supply going into the lean months.
The Federation of Free Farmers said the government’s planned 330,000-ton importation would not be enough because of the risk that the private sector could scale down imports because of rising prices in the world market.
The FFF based its computation on last year’s palay production, rice importation, and inventory at the start of the year.
It noted that palay production fell 18% or by 3.57 million tons last year as farmers were burdened by high fertilizer and other input costs.
Importation, on the other hand, was at a record high of over 3.84 million tons, with the carry over stock going into 2023 amounting to only 1.765 million tons which is enough for only 48 days.
According to the FFF, rice importation amounted to just 790,000 tons in the first quarter of the year, significantly less than the 927,000 tons imported in the same period last year.