October 16, 2019
The Philippines is experiencing an unusual problem – high price of rice. Unusual because the Philippines is an agricultural country endowed with plenty of natural resources, yet it is now the world’s largest importer of rice. What happened? Why are we experiencing this problem? Will rice depart from Filipino tables? The world still grows plenty of rice but the crisis is caused by several factors. In the Philippines, the government assures that there is enough supply for every Filipino. This, of course, is in the form of imported rice as rice production in the country is not enough to feed the entire population. The Philippines has been importing rice since the Spanish period. This continued through the American regime, and still continues until today. The long queues of people buying rice are not new. The same scenario happened in the 1930s, 1970s and in the middle of 1990s brought about by weather disaster, mismanagement and corruption. At present, the crisis is also brought about by abandonment, conversion and reclassification of lands. Whatever the reasons for such, one thing is certain – the use of land for rice is diminishing.
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