An old news dated back April 24, 2012. Department of Agriculture, DA, is facilitating the production of Basmati rice. The said rice are native of Indian and Pakistan. The produce will be for export to middle eastern countries such as Qatar and Kuwait.
Negotiations have already been made. The two mentioned countries are willing to accept it.
The three varieties under testing are the two introduced and one locally bred. It can yield 3.5 to 5 tons per hectare. Quite higher in tropical conditions than of two native countries. Ilo-ilo farmers stated that they are harvesting 90 to 120 cavans per hectare.
Basmati rice has good aroma and excellent eating quality. Preferred by Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. Costing 1000 dollars per metric tons.
Why grow Basmati rice for export?
We were experiencing rice shortage these past few years. Authorities imported tons and tons of rice from other countries, eg Vietnam & Thailand, to fill in the gap.
Is local rice supply sufficient now? Maybe there was no real shortage! Maybe it was an artificial shortage created by greedy groups to raise the price higher and or make importation for kickbacks.
Then news flashed on television screens. The rice stocks of National Food Authority in several warehouses were being infested by weevils and molds.
Good quality pineapple are for export. High end mangoes are for export too. The same goes for bananas. Then low quality or rejects are brought to local markets. We are selling excellent products to other countries and leaving the rest for our own consumption. Then buying other countries’ junks such as electronic equipment and cars. Who knows some imported goods might be scraps too!
Do you think the apples, oranges and grapes brought here are of highest quality?
Maybe, “Grow Basmati rice for local consumption and set the excess for export”.