Apr 1, 2013

Philippines - PHL to study how rice industry may compete under ASEAN free trade regime

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How the Philippine agriculture sector will fare starting in 2015 when the country and its Southeast Asian neighbors form a single bloc under a regional economic integration will be one of the facets of a P26 million study the government is commissioning this year.

The benchmark study will primarily benefit the rice industry and serve as a guide to crafting interventions for competitiveness in a regional market.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations free trade area in 2015 would impact on production, marketing and distribution of rice, hence there is need to assess the local industry’s competitiveness against neighboring countries, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala noted in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.

Creating a benchmark by comparing particular business processes and performance against industry best practices, the study will use time, cost and output as main indicators, the Agriculture Department noted.

The study will be done by experts from the the Philippine Rice Research Institute and the International Rice Research Institute, said Agriculture Assistant Secretary and National Rice Program coordinator Dante S. Delima.

The money for the study will come from the National Rice Program, the department noted.

Covering the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and China, the study will determine which government policies impact on competitiveness in rice production and in marketing commercial and hybrid rice varieties.

Delima noted the pronouncements of President Aquino that agriculture, tourism and infrastructure are the priority areas for attracting foreign investments make the study really significant at this point in time.

VS, GMA News

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