Industry News

DA’s Piñol sticks to PHL rice self-sufficiency goal

The year 2017 could have proven itself as one of the memorable years for the agriculture sector in the early years of the Duterte administration.

For one, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is still on its quest to achieve rice self-sufficiency for the Filipinos. And this year might be one of the closest years that the country could achieve that feat, based on government estimates.

But more than this decade long goal of sufficient staple production, 2017 tested the strength of the country’s farm sector on various issues.

The year 2017 stripped the Philippines of its decades-long claim of being one the few bird flu-free nations not only in Asia, but also in the world.

The government’s food-safety regulations and standards, likewise, were put into test, when some meat imports from Latin America were discovered to contain Salmonella.

And more recently, the Philippines’s struggle to establish a mechanism at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to protect and safeguard small-scale farmers from harmful import surges.

But for Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, there’s only one test to gauge on how he and his department fared well with these issues: sufficient and affordable food supply.

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