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Rationale of the Study

In the Philippines, food security – which is closely linked to rice production

accounting for nearly 20 percent of the typical Filipino household budget (BRIA-

FARMERS, n.d.) – remains to be the topmost priority of the National Food

Authority (NFA). The results of IRRA’s extensive research on Philippines’ crop

management explain why the country imports rice:

(1) Stagnant growth of rice production.

Palay Yield per Hectare

Year Growth rate
2013 1.28%
2014 2.75%
2015 2.5%
2016 0.7%
Table 1.2 Palay Yield per Hectare, 2012-2016

While the Philippines’ overall agricultural performance continues to increase, the

movement of rice yield for every hectare of arable land based on the information

provided by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) could be deduced as rather

stationary wherein changes in the growth rate are considered immaterial. If the

figures remain in such condition for the following years, it will be more difficult for

the government to satisfy the growing demands for rice with the country’s

production alone.

(2) Rapid increase in human population

Philippines’ population is expected to reach 148.2 million by 2050, a 48 percent

rise from 2015. Consequently, crops’ yield growth will become unsustainable by
2050, especially if there are no efforts to improve current farming practices.

However advanced these agricultural developments may have been, they still

failed to achieve the target rice production output by the government which is

supposedly aligned to the increase in human population.

(3) Deficiency in available arable lands to expand rice production.

The number of forestlands being converted to residential areas continues to

multiply alongside the increase in population yet there have been minimal efforts

to extend the scope of agricultural lands thereby causing a noticeable imbalance

in the demand and supply of rice crops.

Philippines import rice on an average of 924,244 MT each year (PSA, 2017).

Taking all the previous reasons into account, without importation, it will only take the at

most three months before the Philippines suffers rice shortage.

Various sustainability projects are being implemented to address this impending national

problem. One notable example is the “Food Staples Sufficiency Authority” program of the

Department of Agriculture. This project’s primary objective is for the Philippines to achieve

self-sufficiency in staple foods (DA, 2016).

However, despite rice self-sufficiency being the forefront of all political administrations,

the government still finds itself struggling towards long-term stability of rice production

due to withstanding factors that were mentioned above. With the growth rate of rice

production consistently dropping for the last three years, the Department of Agriculture

has shifted its focus to joining forces with PhilRice (Philippine Rice Research Institute) to

further formulate strategies aimed on developing high-yielding and cost-reducing means

of achieving surplus of rice capable of satisfying nationwide demand through fluctuating

intervals (PSA, 2017).

Figure 1.5 Palay: Production and Yield per Hectare, Philippines, 2007-2016

Central Luzon holds the largest percentage distribution of rice production with

18.96 percent. Of this, Nueva Ecija accounts for the highest share, owning nearly 48.7

percent of the region’s total rice production, standing to its name as the ‘rice granary’ of

the country.

Through the commercialization of Green Waste Fertilizers commencing first hand

within the city of Gapan in Nueva Ecjia, CloverDise Inc. would not only assist in reducing

the country’s food waste, it will also be able to provide consistent support to sustainable

agricultural growth, thereby reducing the rate of Philippines’ rice importations, and attain

the government’s goal of becoming rice self-sufficient in two years (PhilStar, 2018).