By Benjie S. De Yro
TUGUEGARAO CITY – The Philippines will not compete with Cambodia and Vietnam in exporting ordinary rice, instead, the country will concentrate on high quality rice exportation next year.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala admitted that production of ordinary rice in both countries are better in terms of quantity. “We cannot compete with Cambodia and Vietnam on ordinary rice,” Alcala admitted but did not elaborate.
He cited that traditional rice, particularly those grown in the Cordillera highlands, which are long-grained and possess high eating quality can demand a better price in the world market.
He admitted that although the country continues to import ordinary rice, there has been a decreasing trend in terms of tonnage the last three years.
Even if Cagayan Valley now ranks second in rice production, stakeholders in the region must ‘not sleep on their post’ as other provinces have posted a remarkable increase in yield too.
“In Iloilo alone, farmers already increased their production by almost 60 percent,” the Secretary said.
He advised farmers in Cagayan to start opening new areas for rice production even as he lauded their efforts to re-calendar their planting activities to mitigate the effects of global warming.
Alcala assured the region’s farmers of the agency’s continuous assistance particularly in the marketing system.#