Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Economy

Rice seen fading as staple with higher incomes

THE PHILIPPINES’ dependence on rice as its leading staple food is expected to fade as incomes increase and diets are diversified, agriculture experts said.

“We need to increase the income of Filipino households so that we can enable consumers to access more alternatives to rice because other staples may be more expensive,” according to Tamara Palis-Duran, assistant representative for Programmes for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), during the BusinessWorld Virtual Economic Forum Thursday.

Ms. Palis-Duran said the initiatives of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to introduce other alternatives was a “good start,” but added that it will take a long time for Filipinos to accept new staples other than rice.

“Considering the historical ties of rice to the country, it will really take a long time for us to get accustomed to other alternatives such as corn and sweet potato,” Ms. Palis-Duran said.

“We need to increase their incomes, increase awareness, and introduce some behavioral changes to allow them to diversify to other staples,” she added.

The Philippine Statistics Authority estimated the average annual family income in 2018 at P313,000, against P268,000 in 2015.

Paul S. Teng, senior fellow and adviser in Food Security at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said that lower-income families in the Philippines and across Asia tend to eat more rice.

He said that once policymakers and national governments boost their efforts in increasing household incomes, the diversification of the consumer diet will gain traction.

“They can now start branching away to other staples. Rice is a legacy staple all over Asia. It is so difficult to change legacy food habits because food is such as personal thing,” Dr. Teng said.

Further, Dr. Teng said relative to its neighbors, the Philippines is weak in terms of food security.

“The average Filipino household spends 40% of its income on food compared to 25% in Malaysia and 8% in Singapore. That is really something to ponder,” he said.

According to the DA, rice consumption averages 118.81 kilograms per capita each year, or around 325.5 grams of rice daily.

Shahidur Rashid, South Asia director of the International Food Policy Research Institute, said technology is now playing a bigger role in ensuring food security all over the world.

“Agriculture is critically important to ensure food security but we need other systems and institutions in place to make it effective such as technology,” Dr. Rashid said.

FAO’s Ms. Palis-Duran said Filipino farmers usually live in rural communities and efforts must be exerted to provide the assistance needed to help them understand new technology.

Ms. Palis-Duran said some of the support that can be given to farmers include the translation of guides into their languages, explanations of their benefits, and the effect it will have on their farming techniques.

“Extension workers are really needed because they are the ones on the ground. They have direct reach to farmers in the communities. They can help convince farmers who are not technologically adept to make use of technology,” Ms. Palis-Duran said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Economy

Finding a property to settle in after years of being in the pandemic may leave home seekers and smart investors wary of whether their...

Economy

  Spotlight is BusinessWorld’s sponsored section that allows advertisers to amplify their brand and connect with BusinessWorld’s audience by enabling them to publish their...

Economy

As part of its development agenda for Pakil in Laguna, Ahunan Power Inc. (Ahunan) launched a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program dubbed “Tayo Na...

Economy

By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporters AN INVESTIGATION is underway over the “illegal” sugar importation order that was aimed...

Economy

By Diego Gabriel C. Robles THE PHILIPPINES now aims to become a high-income economy by 2045 at the latest, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M....

Economy

THE SY SIBLINGS remained the richest in the Philippines, despite a $4-billion drop in their net worth in 2022, according to Forbes Asia. The...

You May Also Like

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Economy

Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...

Investing

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...

Investing

Instagram still holds the top spot for social media in terms of building brand reputation and expanding business potential. Every day, more and more...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.