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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, January 26, 2012
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DA keen to reach 2013
rice self-sufficiency bid

The Department of Agriculture is maintaining its 2013 rice self-sufficiency bid despite palay damage from the inclement weather last year.

”We're not reneging on such bid,” DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said.

He reiterated that the country is on the right track in its bid for rice self-sufficiency, noting that the DA continues implementing interventions aimed at further boosting nationwide production of palay.

Among such interventions are increased irrigation and use of improved palay varieties, he said.

DA's quick turnaround strategy also helped cushion the impact of inclement weather's damage to palay production in 2011.

The nationwide volume of production for palay reached 16.68 million metric tons last year, exceeding by 5.78 percent the country's 2010 output of 15.77 million MTs for this staple grain, data DA released Tuesday show.

Gains in palay production helped Philippine agriculture grow 2.34 percent in 2011, the data also indicate.

Alcala said DA's earlier studies forecast 2012 palay output to reach some 18.46 million MTs.

DA forecasts palay output to further rise to about 20 million MTs by 2013.

”That's doable,” Alcala assured.

He reiterated the country's 2012 rice importation volume will remain at 500,000 MTs as there is still no reason to increase this quantity.

He said the private sector will bring in half of such rice while farmers' groups will import the balance.

”Such importation's guidelines are finished already so we hope to commence bidding by February,” Alcala said. *PNA

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