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Rice production situationer in the Philippines

INTRODUCTION

Rice is one of the most important food crops of the world. It is the life blood of more than 90 percent of the people living in Asia who are dependent on rice as a staple food item. It accounts for over 70 percent of the daily calorie intake in countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar (table 1).

TABLE 1. THE TOP TEN RICE PRODUCERS.

COUNTRY

RlCE OUTPUTa ('000 T)

POPULATIONb (MILLION)

YlELDb (T/HA)

RICE IN TOTAL CALORIE SUPPLY %c

China

174704

1104

5.3

38

India

92422

835

2.3

31

Indonesia

40525

185

4.1

59

Bangladesh

22710

115

2.2

70

Thailand

19241

56

2.0

55

Vietnam

15435

67

2.7

69

Myanrnar (Burma)

13983

41

3.0

74

Japan

13421

123

6.1

26

Brazil

10868

147

1.9

15

Philippines

8919

65

2.7

41

a 1986-88.
b 1989.
c 1985.

Source: IRRI Rice Facts, 1989.

Rice is planted on about 145 million hectares - 11 percent of the world's cultivated land. Wheat covers a slightly larger land area, but a sizable proportion of the wheat crop is fed to animals. Rice is the only major cereal crop that is consumed almost exclusively by humans.

By the year 2000, the world will need more than 600 million tons of rough rice in order to keep pace with the current population growth rates. (Table 2)


TABLE 2. PROTRACTED INCREASES IN POPULATION AND

NECESSARY RICE PRODUCTION IN SELECTED COUNTRIES, 1985-2020.

COUNTRY

POPULATION (MILLION)

RICE REQUIREMENT ('000T)


1985

1989

2000

2020

1985

1989

2000

2020

Bangladesh

101

115

153

230

20300

23294

32183

51238

China

1060

1104

1292

1523

157127

164672

195807

237794

indict

759

835

1043

1375

74982

84480

112590

167157

Philippines

54

65

86

131

7673

9330

13013

22069

Vietnam

60

67

86

121

13656

15545

20993

32271

WORLD

4837

5234

6323

8330

420000

455169

564012

781354

Source: IRRI Rice Facts, 1989.

Southeast Asian countries, like the Philippines, will have to intensify rice production within the next 20 years to keep up with rapidly growing populations. By the year 2000, more than 86 million Filipino will have to be fed (3 percent yearly increase) and the country must be able to produce more than 13 millions tons of rice.

The Philippine average rice yield per hectare for the past five years (1985-1989) was 2.7 tons. From 1985 to 1987 the area planted to rice was about 3.4 million hectares (43 percent irrigated lowland, 45 percent rainfed and 12 percent upland area respectively). Eighty-seven percent of this area was planted with modern rice varieties. Meanwhile, expansion of riceland is not possible, ail land suited for rice is already being cultivated; and, urban expansion is steadily forcing more land out of production.

TRENDS IN RICE PRODUCTION IN THE PHILIPPINES.

Three distinct phases characterize the trends in the Philippine rice production, over the postwar period (Fig. 1). Since the 1950s, self-sufficiency in rice has always been a continuous national program. Rice production increased annually at 2.2 percent, a rate below that of population growth. Between 1965 and 1980, after the introduction of the new seed-fertilizer technology, the annual growth rate doubled to 4.5 percent. This growth was achieved primarily through greater productivity rather than through area expansion. With this growth performance, the country turned from being a net importer of 5 to 10 percent of its annual rice requirements, to being marginal rice exporter by the late 1970's.

Table 3 shows the yield increases on paddy production, harvest, areas and yields by crop type, for crop years 1961-1980. The substantial gains in production from 1974-1979 (Masagana 99 years) and analysis of average annual growth rates in production, yields and hectarage are summarized in Table 4.


Figure 1. Trends in rice production and apparent consumption (production + imports - exports) in the Philippines, 1960-1984.


Table 3. Paddy production, area harvested and yield, 1961-1980.

TABLE 4. GROWTH RATES OF PADDY PRODUCTION, YIELDS, AND HARVEST AREAS, 1960-1979.


% GROWTH RATE PER ANNUM


1960-66

1967-73

197479

PRODUCTION




1. Total

1.5

1.6

8.8

2. Irrigated

2.8

4.9

9.9

3. Rainfed Lowland

2.7

(0.1)

8.0

4. Upland

(4.2)

(2 7)

5.9

YIELDS




1. All crop type

2.5

1.5

6.8

2. Irrigated

3.9

(0 9)

6.5

3. Rainfed Lowland

2.0

0.7

6.3

4. Upland

(1.3)

2.3

6.2

HARVEST AREAS




1. Total

0.9

0.1

1.9

2. Irrigated

(0.8)

6.4

3.3

3. Rainfed Lowland

0.7

(0.7)

1.7

4. Upland

(3.3)

(3.7)

2.8

Source: Bureau of Agricultural Economics.

Since 1974, rice production increased by 63 percent, with an average growth rate of 8.8 percent - a record accomplishment compared with 1.6 percent annual growth in total production from 1967-1973. The disparity is due primarily to the 28 typhoons that occurred within a period of four months in 1971, the disease infestation in 1972 and floods that reduced the production for the year by 13 percent.

Since 1980, rice production has grown at the negligible rate of 0.1 percent leading to rice imports in 1984 and 1985 (Fig. 1). Strong typhoons damaged the 1980 crop in Central Luzon and Cagayan. The sharp reduction in 1982-1983 rice production was due to severe drought from November 1982 to June 1983, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao. Drought also affected the 1983-1984 crop as planting in the 1983 wet season was delayed and the low water levels in many Luzons reservoirs limited supply of water during the dry season of 1984.

SOURCE OF YIELD GROWTH

Among the factors accounting for past yield growth were: adoption of modern varieties, increased use of fertilizer and expansion of irrigation. Within five years of the introduction of modern varieties in 1966, 50 percent of the rice was already planted to modern varieties. Adoption continued to increase in the subsequent period.

Irrigated area expanded from 35 to 47 percent from 1965 to 1980. Growth in irrigation investments was much more rapid because a significant share of this was for rehabilitation to increase quality of irrigation.

Fertilizer per hectare used in rice increased from about 10 kgs. of NPK per hectare in 1965 to almost 40 kgs. by the early 1980s. Fertilizer use rose steeply as modern rice varieties were rapidly adopted and irrigated area expanded.

Despite the unfavorable weather and problems with irrigation quality from 1980 to 1984, average yields continue to increase at a high rate (Table 5). The high growth rate in upland yields in the 1980-1984 may not represent a true picture since the substantial increase occurred only in one year, 1984. It is in the rainfed areas where yield performance appears to have steadily improved as growth in yields rose to 4.5 percent. The yields of rainfed rice in 1984 are nearly 70 percent higher than those in the late 1960s when the size of rainfed crop area was about the same.

TABLE 5. GROWTH RATES OF PADDY PRODUCTION, AREA AND YIELD IN IRRIGATED, RAINFED AND UPLAND AREAS IN THE PHLIPPINES, 1955-1984..


OUTPUT

AREA

YIELD

Irrigated




1955* - 65*

5.4

5.3

0.1

1965* - 80*

7.0

3.5

3 5

1980/84

2.2

1.0

1.2

Rainfed




1955* - 65*

0.8

1.0

-0.2

1965* - 80*

2.9

0.3

2.6

1980/84

-1.4

-5.9

4.5

Upland




1955* - 65*

-1.0

-1.6

0.6

1965* - 80*

-1.8

-3.8

2.0

1980/84

-10.0

-13.0

3.0

* Three-year average centered at year shown.

Source of basic data: Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Philippines.

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PRODUCTION INSTABILITY

The Agricultural Credit Program

The extension of agricultural credit to farm produce has been a policy instrument used to stimulate growth of rice farm incomes. Granting farmers access to institutional sources of credit at liberal terms promotes adoption of innovative practices and increases farm productivity and income.

Significant to reach Philippine farm producers with institutional credit commenced in 1952. Due to a threatening political situation in Central Luzon, the Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA) was established under Republic Act (RA) 821 to extend unsecured production loans to rice farmers. Low repayment of loans threatened the existence of the institution. In 1962, it was reorganized into the Agricultural Credit Administration (ACA), to serve the credit needs of land reform beneficiaries. Also in 1952, RA 720 was passed in response to the needs of small farmers.

The Supervised Credit Approach

The approach widely used to reach rice farmers has been institutional credit. The scheme provides production loans according to a farm plan and budget and technical guidance and supervision of the borrowers by the production technicians.

The experience gained in this approach marked the beginning of wide adoption of the supervised credit in the stimulating agricultural development, including the national drive for rice self-sufficiency represented in the Masagana 99 program.

The Masagana 99 Program

In 1973, the Masagana 99 was launched to increase rice farm productivity and income. It was a government-supported rice production program involving a package of technology, supervised credit, seed productivity and distribution, fertilizer allocation and distribution system, intensified extension services, intensified pest and disease control campaign and massive information and educational campaign.

Rice farm production increased with the program. In the Masagana 99 years (1974-1979), rice production grew at the rate of 8.8 percent per annum against the traditional growth rates of 1.5 percent 1.6 percent from 1960-73. The country achieved self-suffiency in rice during the program years. In addition, the country reversed its position in the rice market from a traditional importer to an exporter four years after the inception of the program. The country exported rice starting in 1977 and reached an export level of 190,000 metric tons in 1979.

In the 1980's, the world rice market and domestic economic conditions were entirely different. There was a minor rice production shorfall in 1980. Total rice consumption remained below total production and average per capita availability was maintained without importing. To help farmers affected by the unfavorable weather condition, the National Food Authority distributed rice on credit by drawing on the large stocks accumulated through the late 1970s. This approach prevented rice prices from rising and prevented farmers from increasing production.

In 1982-1983, a more serious production shortfall occurred. Government stocks were already at a low level. More limiting factors were the serious balance of payments, foreign debt, inflation and public deficit problems confronting the nation. The country imported rice to maintain per-capita availability to consumers. Foreign exchange constraints reduced and delayed fertilizer imports. Expansion of irrigations and other farm support were affected. The prices of fertilizer, labor, agricultural chemicals and other farm inputs were much less favorable in 1980-1984 compared to the period 1970-1979.

An intensified Rice Production Program (RPEP) was launched in 1984 followed by the Rice Action Program (RAP) to provide cheap credit but disbursed only 15 percent in real terms of what was disbursed at the peak of the Masagana 99 program in 1974. These factors have limited profitability of rice farming and prolonged the period of recovery from the 1980's weather problems compared to the 1973-1974 period.

TRENDS IN RICE PRODUCTION IN THE FUTURE

Clearly, there is a need to intensify rice production in existing cultivable lands. Crop area in rice continues to decline and is currently equal to the rice crop area in the early 1960s when population was only 60 percent of current levels. The main concern over the next two decades will be how to grow more rice on less land. The productivity of existing rice land must be increased but, simultaneously, its fertility must be sustained and the environment protected.

REFERENCES

David, C. 1985. Why the Philippines Imported Rice in Recent Years. IRRI, Agri. Eco. Dept., Los Ba Laguna, Philippines.

Hargrove, T. 1990. A Grass called Rice. IRRI, Los Ba Laguna, Philippines.

IRRI, 1989. IRRI Rice Facts. IRRI, Los Ba Laguna, Philippines.

UPLB, 1983. Rice Production Manual. Los Ba Laguna, Philippines.