Customs Foils Subic Rice Smuggling

Manila Bulletin - 22 July 2012

MANILA, Philippines — The seizure by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) of thousands of imported bags of rice last June at the Subic Freeport is just the tip of the iceberg.

The BOC, which showed the bags of rice to the media Friday, said that there are close to half a million bags of rice impounded at the Subic Freeport, which could be the largest smuggled rice interception by the agency under the Aquino government.

Win-win with brown rice

“Once upon a time, unpolished rice—that is, brown rice—was the only rice that Filipinos knew, back when pounding and winnowing were the only means our ancestors had for milling rice,” writes Prof. Ted Mendoza, crop scientist at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. “People across Asia ate unpolished rice in great quantities a century and a half ago,” add Robin Broad and John Cavanagh of American University and Institute of Policy Studies, respectively. “When Westerners brought rice mills to the country a century ago, Filipinos found the taste of the new white rice strange, and it took a while [for them] to get used to it.”

The milling machines may have made life somewhat easier, but they also altered the end product altogether, removing the bran from the rice and turning it white. Through time, white rice consumption dominated brown rice, and the latter became associated with poverty, even considered an inferior, “dirty” product. White rice, on the other hand, was considered modern and sophisticated.

Rice Credit on Pangasinan

Manila Bulletin - 06 July 2012

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — Local government units (LGUs) in this province may now purchase rice on credit from the National Food Authority (NFA) under a Rice Loan Program agreement between LGUs and the NFA-Western Pangasinan. “It (the program) is designed to cushion the impact of various calamities that may hit the country and will ensure the LGUs' priority access to NFA rice for its immediate relief distribution operations,” said NFA Provincial Manager Beverlyn Peralta. Under the agreement, certain terms and conditions for withdrawal of rice and payment of stock shall be followed based on the NFA Consumers' Price as indicated in the latest Selling Price Bulletin. (Liezle Basa Iñigo)

Agri Machinery Expo Ends on Saturday

Manila Bulletin - 06 July 2012

MANILA, Philippines – More farmers and agribusiness people should attend the Agri Machinery Show which ends on Saturday at the World Trade Center at the corner of Gil Puyat Avenue and Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City.

The beauty about this trade show is that even the smallest farm implement distributors are showcasing their simplest wares side by side  with the biggest tractors and rice harvesters.

This is possible because the exhibitors don’t pay any exhibition charge. It is free unlike most trade shows that are also held in the same venue. It is probably the idea of the Department of Agriculture to charge no participation fee so that the individuals or companies that can’t afford to pay a big amount will be able to showcase what they have.

Rice importation seen minimal

Business World Online - 05 July 2012

THE COUNTRY may no longer import rice next year -- or may bring in only a minimal volume -- if palay production this year exceeds the targeted output of 18.46 million metric tons (MT), a Cabinet official said on Thursday.

Jan.-June palay yield moves PHL closer toward rice self-sufficiency

Gma Network - 05 July 2012

Philippine palay production in the first six months is expected at 7.875 million metric tons, indicating the country is on the way toward self-sufficiency, Malacañang and the Department of Agriculture said Thursday.

Organic farming gains ground

Business Mirror - 02 July 2012

ORGANIC farming is the way to go for food security and healthier Filipinos.
A total of 270 rice farmers in Pangasinan graduated last week from the Organikong Palayan (OP) field-school program organized by the La Liga Policy Institute. They will now apply in their own farms their newly acquired knowledge and skills in organic agriculture.