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Competitiveness of Philippine Rice in ASIA

By 2017, the Philippines’ waiver to its commitment to the World Trade Organization in removing its quantitative restriction (QR) on rice will expire. Should the option of negotiating for QR extension become infeasible, imported rice can be brought into the country as long as traders pay the imposed tariff. When this happens, we ask: is the Philippines ready to compete with its neighbors?

Competitiveness is a serious issue. It is about time that the country looks beyond its borders and get manifold perspectives on the global rice situation—a prerequisite in developing the right implements that will encourage our dwindling brood of farmers to continue farming and produce rice with relatively low cost and better returns. This book offers possible answers on burning questions about the plight of the local rice industry and attempts to provide insights on improving the competitiveness of Filipino rice farmers.

Although the emphasis of this work is on the Philippines, much could also be learned about the other major rice-producing countries in Asia, namely: China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. This book provides information on comparative yield, input uses, and management practices of rice farmers in representative irrigated areas of the six Asian countries. The book also compares the costs of production and marketing, rice income level of farmers in these areas.

The analyses provided here are informed by quantitative data. Although not everything in rice production and marketing can be reduced to numbers, these often shed light on rice issues that are politically sensitive. These facts are vital to the ongoing debates and in charting the course of the Philippine rice industry in the medium term. The reality is that liberalizing rice trade presents opportunities for growth. However, to be at par with international competitors, it is necessary for local industry players to understand the mechanisms that enable major rice-producing nations to sustain their status and protect the welfare of their consumers as well. Access to the right elements of information, policies, and technologies is critical.

This book integrates these three elements in an easy-to-read language and presents powerful and authentic insights from rice experts themselves, scientists and researchers, extension workers, paddy traders, rice millers and wholesalers, and farmers.

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