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DA eyes changes in rice self-sufficiency.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking at changes in the computation of the country's rice self-sufficiency level, saying that the one used by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is not accurate.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said the department is now in talks with PSA to thresh out some of the components in computing rice self-sufficiency.

'We are taking this up with the PSA. From my perspective, PSA's self-sufficiency formula is quite flawed. We are now in the process of reviewing the formula in determining staple grain sufficiency,' Pinol said.

The Agriculture chief wants to remove the factors of imported rice and percentage of Filipinos who are not in the country or the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

'With PSA's formula, imported rice is constant which means that the entry of imported volume is already the indicator of how much shortage there is in the food supply of the country,' Pinol said.

'And our population is about 105 million, but how many of that are OFWs? Almost 10 million Filipinos are outside the country, why do we have to include them in the computation?' he added.

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The DA's counter proposal is composed of population without OFWs, average rice consumption and annual rice production. Other components including planting intentions and buffer stocking requirement are also factored in.

'I think this is more accurate because PSA's computation is imported rice over locally produced rice equals to the degree of sufficiency. If that's the case, we can never attain self sufficiency,' Pinol said.

'Our position is to really remove the imported rice in the equation. If we will always include that, we will never be rice sufficient. Let us just simplify the formula,' he added.

Latest data from the PSA showed that the country's self-sufficiency ratio of rice is now at 95.01 percent as of 2016.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Date:Jan 14, 2018
Words:380
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