PH posts record rice harvest of 19.4 million MT in 2020

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 5) — The Philippines posted its highest rice production level in 2020 at 19.4 million metric tons, the Department of Agriculture reported Tuesday..

“In 2020, with all the interventions coming from government… these gave us the opportunity to reach this new record harvest in rice totaling 19.4 million metric tons,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a briefing.

He noted that this was even higher than the total production recorded in 2017 at 19.276 million MT. This is also 3% more than 2019’s total harvest of 18.814 million MT, and 0.4% more than the 19.32 million MT projection for 2020.

Dar said they will continuously implement programs to sustain the good performance of the local rice industry.

For 2021, DA is targeting 20.48 million MT that will be supported by the ₱10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, which will include programs like promotion of inbred rice production and hybrid seeds, loan facilities, and trainings for farmers.

RELATED: DA targets 2.5% growth in 2021

Meanwhile, the country’s rice inventory rose 6.6% in November 2020 from its level in the previous year despite successive typhoons that hit the country, leaving billions of pesos worth of damage to agriculture.

In its latest inventory report, the Philippine Statistics Authority said total rice stocks reached 3.158 million metric tons from 2.962 million MT in November 2019.

The stocks were enough for around 98 days based on the country’s 32,000 MT average daily rice consumption.

About 57.3% of the total rice stocks were held by households, 30.5% by commercial warehouses, and 12.2% by National Food Authority depositories.

Year-on-year, stocks held by households also rose 18.5%, while those in commercial warehouses and NFA depositories dropped 1.9% and 15.1%, respectively.