An April 12, 2011 briefer by the Department of Agriculture
The Philippine Food Staples Self-sufficiency Roadmap (FSSR) 2011-2016 is a product of a series of workshops spearheaded by the DA Rice Program and participated in by various agencies in the Department of Agriculture. Its target is to achieve rice self-sufficiency for the country by 2013 and maintain it through 2016.
WHY IS THERE A NEED TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT?
- Traded global rice is considered scarce. Only 5-7 percent of the world’s rice production is exported. Rice is commonly consumed where it is produced.
- Rice can only be bought from few sources. Eighty-four percent of rice export is controlled by only five countries: Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, and the US, making rice trade subject to political decisions of a few. In 2008, the world price of rice escalated due to export bans issued by exporters and panic-buying activities of importers.
- Rice demand is getting higher. Non-traditional rice-eating countries, such as those in Africa, have exhibited growing demand and are expected to compete with traditional rice-eating countries.
- Climate Change causes global low production turn-out. The country’s traditional import sources are as vulnerable and may no longer be reliable suppliers in the future.
II. HOW WILL WE ACHIEVE THIS?
The following are the FSSR strategies need to do in order to achieve self-sufficiency:
1. Increase and sustain the gains in production through production interventions and enabling mechanisms—specifically by producing more than 21.11 and 22.49 million tons of palay by end of 2013 and 2016, respectively. This will involve the corresponding interventions:
- Development and maintenance of irrigation systems. The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will implement projects that will increase irrigation-serviceable areas.
- Increase farmers’ access to high quality seeds. Community seed banks (CSB) will be established in cooperation with private seed growers in each province. PhilRice will continue to supply breeder and foundation seeds, while the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) will expedite seed certification process. The Land Bank will provide credit assistance to seed growers.
- R&D and Promotion of Appropriate Technologies. PhilRice will continue to conduct research and development of rice production technologies; the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) will promote balance fertilization; while the National Organic Agriculture Board will promote sustainable farming systems in areas with low use of inorganic fertilizer.
- Development of Upland Rice-Based Farming Systems; to address food insecurity of poor households in upland marginal areas.
- Extension and Farmers Education. The Agricultural Training Institute will coordinate efforts to build the capacity of rice farmers through community organizing, training, and electronic extension [e-Learning].
- Enabling mechanisms, to stimulate production response from farmers: (1)NFA reforms, such as increase percentage of domestic palay procurement, phased increase in selling price of rice, CCT in lieu of a direct consumer price subsidy, and focused role on buffer stocking and price support to farmers; (2) increase in credit guarantee fund; (3) greater coverage of crop insurance; and (4) Safeguard irrigated rice areas from land conversion.
2. Farm mechanization and reduction of post-harvest losses reduction, which accounts for 16.47% of loss in production. Therefore, the FSSR seeks to
- Improve the mechanization level of rice production in the country: Registered participant farmer associations willing to enter in a MOA under a counter-parting scheme are to send farmer-members into training for operating and maintenance of the equipment or facility.
- Provide multi-purpose drying pavement, modified MPDP, and flatbed dryers to eligible farmer associations.
- The modernization of rice mills: this entails the provision of village-type rice mill (double-pass or more modern type of milling system) to farmer associations through a counter-parting scheme, or of multi-pass rice mills for private millers/traders through loans.
3. Manage consumption by maintaining per capita rice consumption at 120 kg/year.
The DA will partner with other government agencies and NGOs to promote
- The consumption of unpolished or brown rice,
- Reduction of table wastes. Table wastes account for approximately 3 tbsp/day or 14 g/day in raw form. If 94 million Filipinos waste this much every day, the total rice wastage would amount to 480,000 tons of milled rice in a year—enough to feed 4 million people for one year.
- Diversifying of staples by increasing production of non-rice staples by 3.5% annually. Encouraging the production of white corn, sweet potato, cassava, and plantain can increase their supply and market availability and lower their prices.
 DA-Regional Field Units, Agricultural Training Institute, Bureau of Agricultural Research, Bureau of Plant Industry, Bureau of Soil and Water Management, Philippine Center for Postharvest development and Mechanization, Agricultural Credit Policy Council, National Food Authority, National Irrigation Administration, Philippine Crop Insurance Company and of course Philippine Rice Research Institute.
 From 2000-2008.
 Note: Rice staples are not imported by the Philippines in raw form, and must therefore be produced locally.