The Philippines is exporting 50 metric tonnes (mt) of fancy rice to Dubai and Hong Kong within this month, and another 50 mt to the US between July and August, with a total value of $100,000.
This is part of the government’s strategic plan to use fancy rice as one of the tools for global trading, as it is in fancy rice that the Philippines can compete with the world’s biggest rice producers, Thailand and Vietnam.
“It will be a progressive programme to export fancy rice where we can be competitive,” Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala said in a ‘Manila Bulletin’ article recently.
China, meanwhile, has affirmed its commitment to help the Philippines become rice sufficient by extending a 69-million-peso grant (Dh6.15 m) for the commercialisation of hybrid rice until 2016.
This will be done through a partnership between the Philippine government and the Yuan Long Ping High Tech Agricultural Co Ltd of China and the Chinese government.
The first 50 mt allotted for Dubai and Hong Kong is a combination of 30 mt of long grain aromatic rice from Region 12 and black rice from Quezon province, and 20 mt of brown and white SL-7 and SL-9 (Jasponica and Miponica), both premium hybrid rice from SLAGritech Crop.
Comprising the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kurdarat and Sarangani, and the city of General Santos, Region 12 is located in central Mindanao, the country’s second-largest island. The province of Quezon, on the other hand, is found southeast of Metro Manila, or the National Capital Region.
DA Assistant Secretary Dante Delima said the 50 mt for the US will be mainly heirloom rice from the Mountain Province, in the northern Philippines, which has cooler climes.
The export volume for fancy rice, whose price is $1,000 per mt, will be increased to 200 mt by 2014, the DA said, but not before establishing a certification called Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), a safety standard in farm products being required by most importing countries. This is being obtained through the Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries’ Product Standards’ technical assistance.
Delima said that DA has to shell out 2.5 million pesos (Dh222,849.18) to set the GAP standard for rice. “But we can’t wait for it,” he told reporters at the recent Hybrid Rice Congress held in Nueva Ecija, a landlocked province in central Luzon. “We will ship out while waiting.”
While the regular support price of the National Food Authority (NFA) for rice is 18 pesos (Dh1.60) per kilo, the export-quality rice will be priced at between 45 pesos and 55 pesos (Dh4 – 4.90) per kilo.
Aussie shot dead in Olongapo beach resort
An Australian was shot dead at a beach resort he managed in Olongapo City, about three hours’ drive north of Manila, in what could be an act of revenge by a former employee that he had sacked.
“We may be looking at revenge as the motive,” police officer Tyrone Tecson was quoted by an AFP report on Monday as saying. “Many of those who lost their work were not happy.”
He said an unidentified gunman, who was wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, shot the 52-year-old Paul Dean Davy, manager of Blue Rock Beach Resort, at close-range on Friday evening, and then escaped aboard a motorcycle.
All the witnesses, including the resort owner and some staff members, told the police that they did not recognise the gunman.
Tecson said that a labour dispute could be linked to the crime, as there were some employees who had been forced to resign or asked to leave in the three years that Davy was general manager of the resort.
Davy left behind a Filipina girlfriend and one child.
Close to Subic Bay, Olongapo is a popular destination for tourists who love water sports and diving.
Subic used to host the biggest US naval base outside the mainland, and was converted into a free port when the Americans left in 1992.