MANILA – Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said sorry yesterday for missing the target rice sufficiency last year.
“I am sorry for not hitting the target in 2013,” he told reporters during the weekly Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel news forum. He said the 96 percent rice sufficiency achieved last year was equivalent to 18.44 million metric tons (MT).
The department chief, however pointed out the rice harvest during the said period was the biggest in the country’s rice harvest history.
“It was the biggest rice production record in the history of the country,” he said.
He also said that the highly labor intensive rice industry in the country lags behind other Southeast Asian countries whose rice production process are already highly mechanized.
This in effect, contributes to lower rice prices in the said countries.
Thailand and China follows Vietnam in the roster of countries which produces the cheapest rice in the region.