PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., said that the 3% increase in palay production in the first half will ensure adequate stocks of rice until the end of the year.
In a statement released by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), Mr. Marcos, who is also the Secretary of Agriculture, made his remarks after hearing a presentation at a meeting with the Economic Development Group.
Citing the production report issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority, Agriculture Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban said production of palay, or unmilled rice, was 9 million metric tons (MT) during the period, up from 8.7 million MT a year earlier.
The first-half total exceeded the initial estimate of 8.7 million MT released by the Philippine Rice Information System.
Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio S. Sebastian said that the palay volume translates to about 5.9 million MT in milled rice, which exceeds the initial projection of 5.7 million MT.
“With the 3% production growth in the first semester, we can expect that, barring the occurrence of destructive typhoons, the production for 2023 could surpass 20 million MT,” Mr. Sebastian said.
He expected the rice production to be encouraged by strong palay prices. Farmers are also benefiting from seed, fertilizer, biofertilizer, soil treatments, and farm machinery supplied by the Department of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, the PCO said private rice traders expect about 300,000 MT of rice to arrive this month.
About 2.05 million MT has been landed as of the first week of August, the PCO said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera