MANILA, March 30, 2014 – Will the Philippines ever be self-sufficient in rice? This will be one of the topics during Tapatan sa Aristocrat forum on March 31.
Rice is the country’s top political commodity and has been the people’s staple food for centuries. However, last February 26,2014, at the Arangkada’s 3rd Anniversary celebration, World Bank’s lead economist Dr. Rogier J.E. van den Brink said, rice in the Philippines costs 40% more than the prevailing world market price.
He said should the government be able to bring down the cost of rice, a significant portion of the country’s poor would be able to afford them. He said, only then can poverty alleviation measures come to fruition.
At the forum, International Rice Research Institute Deputy Director General Bruce Tolentino will provide data on and compare rice production and consumption in Southeast Asia, while PhilRice executive director Dr. Eufemio T. Rasco, Jr., representing Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala will discuss the current prospects and difficulties being faced by both the government and the country’s millions of rice farmers in realizing its target of self-sufficiency.
National Food Authority’s Spokesman, Director Rex Estoperez will explain the government’s intervention mechanisms to prevent the increase in market prices.
Former Trade and Industry and Agriculture Undersecretary Ernesto Ordoñez will update media practitioners about reports reaching Alyansa Agrikultura about rice smuggling and how such illegal ventures affect farm and market prices.
Tapatan sa Aristocrat is a project of Areopagus Social Media for Asia, Inc. in cooperation with The Aristocrat. (Melo Acuña)