Manila (6 May) — Malacanang said that there’s no cause for worry over the Philippines failed tender for 675,000 tons of rice from Vietnam’s state-owned Vinafood II, saying the country’s requirements for the staple food is already “filled up.”
Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye told reporters covering Malacanang that the 670,000 tons of rice from Vietnam were intended to serve as buffer stock.
He pointed out that the country is well on its way to being rice-sufficient with the recent signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the DA and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), which will lead to “improved rice production” in the country.
Under the agreement, the DA and IRRI will undertake joint efforts to increase rice production in the Philippines starting this rainy season by planting new high-yielding varieties and hybrids.
The two agencies will also jointly assess and increase the output of the current rice growing areas, as well develop new areas using geographic information system, remote sensing, crop and climate modeling and other modern farming techniques.
Aside from the MoA, Bunye said the government will also implement President Arroyo’s intensified food production program aimed at strengthening the country’s ability to provide food for its citizens through a series of efficient and budget-friendly food production modules.
Dubbed F.I.E.L.D.S. for fertilizer, irrigation and infrastructure, extension and education, loans, dryers and other post-harvest and post-production facilities, and seeds and other genetic materials), the six assistance packages form the centerpiece of the government’s food security efforts.