From being one of the top importers of rice in the world, having imported 2.5 million MT in 2010, the Philippines has started exporting premium rice abroad. This signifies that the country has already moved towards 100% rice self-sufficiency that the government is aiming for by the end of this year. This is in part of the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP) of the Department of Agriculture.

            45 MT of aromatic rice was exported to Singapore last July 22, 2013, which would cater to the high demand of rice of the Filipinos as well as of the other nationalities. 25 MT of this bulk was from the Firmus Service Cooperative (FSC) situated in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, while the other 20 MT was provided by the Magtutumana ng Sta. Rosa Multi- Purpose Cooperative (MSC-MPC) located in Nueva Ecija.

            It might seem like this is not really a big achievement on our part, but as I have mentioned in the first paragraph, the Philippines is showing positive results in its plans of having 100% rice self-sufficiency by the end of this year. It is also a remarkable event that our actual exports would most likely supersede that of the country’s target rice export of 200 MT. To date, the Philippines have already exported 106 MT as of July, halfway through the year. Another batch of export to Russia, Italy, Middle-East and the US are to be expected before the year ends.

This shows that the Philippines is already in the way of tapping the international market of rice. It is really ironic that we rarely export when in fact we are one of the most rice producers in the whole world, having produced 18 million MT of palay last 2012. And we are gearing towards a 2 million MT addition in the production to achieve our goals in the FSSP. Higher production would lead to more income for the farmers; and with more incentives comes the drive to farm more palay, therefore raising the standards for our rice industry. Utilizing our rice production to export to our neighboring countries and also to the western countries will be a great contribution to our foreign exchange. 

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