PHILIPPINES: Is the rice industry finally on the rise? | BusinessMirror | SRI Global News: February - April 2024 **sririce -- System of Rice Intensification |

Should the Philippines pursue rice self-sufficiency at all costs? Or must it focus, instead, on assuring food security and higher incomes for farmers that could bail them out of their moribund state of poverty?

...On competitiveness, former Agriculture Secretary Dar said we can never be competitive, as our production costs are as much as P11 to P12 per kilo, in contrast to Vietnam’s P6 to P7 per kilo, and Thailand’s P9 per kilo, as both enjoy vast flat lands naturally irrigated at virtually no cost by the huge Mekong River. Our focus must, therefore, be on food security and higher farmer incomes and not on self-sufficiency alone.
Jesse Las Marias, an economist and agriculture practitioner, who was one of the forum audience, says “with better technologies and farming systems like the System of Rice Intensification [SRI] system, we can bring down costs of production to P4 to P6 per kilo, which are already competitive with our neighbors.”