• PH exceeds rice imports for 2013

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    THE Philippines has exceeded its target of 100 metric tons (MT) of rice exports for this year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported on Wednesday.

    Agriculture Assistant Secretary Dante Delima, who is also the National Rice Program coordinator, said that as of July 22, the country has already exported a total of 106.55 MT of premium and organic black rice varieties, including the recent 45-MT shipment to Singapore.

    The previous shipments included 35 MT to Dubai, 15 MT to Kuwait and Hong Kong, and 11.55 MT to Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, Canada, and the Netherlands.

    On July 22, Delima led a send off of some 45 MT of aromatic rice to Singapore at the Manila North Harbor.

    Delima said the rice export would in part satisfy the demand of 146,000 overseas Filipino workers in Singapore, and other rice-consuming Singaporeans and foreign tourists.

    The shipment consisted of 25 MT from farmer-members of Firmus Service Cooperative (FSC), in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and 20 MT from Magtutumana ng Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MSR-MPC), in Nueva Ecija.

    The rice was processed and exported by the Vegetable Importers Exporters Vegetables Association (Vieva), carrying the brand “Golden Vieva aromatic white rice.”

    “With this shipment, and at the rate we are going, it is not far-fetched for our exports of premium and organic, colored Philippine rice will breach the 200-MT mark by the end of the year,” said Delima, who is recently designated as OIC-Undersecretary for field operations.

    Delima said the DA looks forward to exporting another batch of 97 MT until year-end to Russia, Italy, the Middle East, and the United States.

    He said rice exports to the Middle East would further increase as soon the DA task force on rice exportation has completed and complied with the Halal certification for premium rice, including the establishment of a code for good agricultural standards for Philippine rice.

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