PH needs full-time Agriculture secretary, says Poe
PH needs full-time Agriculture secretary, says Poe
PH needs full-time Agriculture secretary, says Poe
by Daylight Abas03 August 2023
Photo courtesy: Senator Grace Poe Facebook page

Senator Grace Poe suggested that the Philippines require a full-time Agricultural Secretary as India recently declared plans to prohibit shipments of non-basmati rice to the world market.

Since taking office in June 2022, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has held the Agriculture portfolio as part of his vow to prioritize the sector.

In her privilege speech, Poe proposed that Marcos appoint a full-time Agricultural Secretary, pointing out that the Philippines had bought 10,045 metric tons of rice from India, but "this does not exempt us from the collateral impact of their decision."

Poe said that non-basmati rice accounts for around 81.2 percent of India's total rice exports and is the category subject to their ban.

She went on to remark that India has created a 17.86 million metric ton shortage in the world rice market in one fell swoop, and those who fill that gap may undoubtedly demand a premium.

Vietnam, which accounts for more than 90% of the country's rice imports, according to Poe, raised its price to $600 per metric ton.

She anticipates that the planned 2024 budget for the Department of Agriculture (DA) "will not only be bigger but will be spent faster on the things that our rice farmers need to succeed.

Based on the latest Social Weather Stations report, three out of every ten Filipinos are "food poor," or unable to afford enough food.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reports that the Philippines is just 81.5 percent self-sufficient in rice.

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