Central Luzon still top rice producer in 2023

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — The renowned “Rice Granary of the Philippines” is still the country’s biggest producer of rice with 18.14 percent share in the total production for 2023.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, Central Luzon produced a total of 3.6 million metric tons out of the more than 20 million MT of palay harvested last year.

The figure is 1.54 percent or 304,147 MT more than the total 19.7 million MT of palay produced in 2022.

The Department of Agriculture said farmers of Region 3 helped increase palay production.

DA Undersecretary Roger Navarro said the agency will continue “to provide support to our farmers towards the goal of having food security in the country.”

Meanwhile, Navarro assured the public that there’s no need to worry about shortage of rice in the coming months due to the El Niño as supply is ample both from importation and local production.

He added that Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel has told President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that supply of all prime commodities like rice, corn, pork and chicken will be stable in the coming months.

Navarro said the country needs around 2.6 MMT to 2.8 MMT or at least 330,000 MT of rice import volume per month for the average consumption of 37 MT per day.

The DA has already imported since January around 590,000 MT of rice, enough for the coming months. He added that the price of rice in the country remains close to its supplier countries like Vietnam and Thailand.

”We are not far (when it comes to prices), and they are supplying us with rice. So, in our words, the challenge (is) more on really stabilizing the supply than price. It’s better to have rice at P56 rather than no rice at P42,” Navarro said.