Photo by Hamdan Badrudin
COTABATO CITY—The Bangsamoro Government’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) confirmed on August 18 that there is an ample supply of rice in the region, despite concerns about surging prices in the market.
With the Government of the Philippines expected to import around 300,000 MT – 500,000 MT of rice from Vietnam and India, the rice supply is projected to last for 52 to 57 days by the end of 2023.
Dr. Daud Lagasi, MAFAR’s Director-General for Agriculture Services, pointed out that “although there have been observed 2-3-peso increases in the price of milled rice in the market, the supply is expected to last until the end of 2023.”
“We are anticipating the harvest period in the first semester (July to September), and this August marks the peak period of the harvest,” the Director-General said, while clarifying that the second harvest semester will occur from December 2023 to March 2024, with January 2024 being the peak harvest period.
Furthermore, the issue of rice prices is a national problem, as the country is a net importer of rice from other countries. Unfortunately, the Government of India has banned the export of rice to our country.
“On the other hand, the increase in the price of milled rice can be attributed to the high costs of fertilizers and fuel. However, the country is currently negotiating rice imports with Vietnam and India, with the expectation of eventually reducing the price of milled rice in the coming months,” Lagasi further explained.
MAFAR projects that the price of milled rice in the region will decrease in September and October 2023 due to the harvest season across the country.
To mitigate the spike in basic commodity prices, MAFAR continues to provide production support services such as seeds and other farm inputs to farmers, while also enhancing price monitoring in the agri-fishery sector as part of the BARMM Chief Minister’s Agri-Fishery Production and Food Security 12-Point Priority Agenda. (Kasan Usop, Jr./BIO)