Industry News, Uncategorized

Rice handling and storage losses amount to nearly 900,000 tons/year

According to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the country loses almost 900,000 tons of rice every year. The wastage is incurred during handling and storage between the farm and the market. PhilRice Deputy Executive Director Flordeliza Bordey stated during a Senate budget hearing that “the losses were caused by mishandling and poor storage practices.” “Almost 899,000 tons is the estimate used by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) from all types of losses,” Bordey further added.

“[The PSA assumption] is [at a] constant 6.5 percent [wastage rate] year-on-year. These losses actually occur during distribution,” said Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol. One of his recommendations is to pack rice in one- or two-kilo packets in public markets, a packaging measure that is being implemented by the National Food Authority. Sec. Piñol stated that this packaging measure “will be safe”, noting that open sacks are vulnerable to losses from spillage.

The PSA estimated a 19.3 million tons production of palay in 2017. Currently, local demand is met by importing seven percent of its rice requirement. Sen. Francis Pangilinan stated that the Department of Agriculture (DA) “could have lowered the import requirement by minimizing handling losses.” Sen. Loren Legarda also moved that the DA should explore ways that would curtail the wastage.

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