EDITORIAL| A hard look at our staple

LAST week, the Philippine Statistics Authority released last week the result of its Survey on Food Demand (SFD) which showed, among others,  a decrease in the consumption of rice in households in Davao Region. This is because many prefer to shift to substitutes such as corn grits (38.32%) and bread  (36%).

This shift is said to be due to health concerns, affordability or simply the lack of time to cook rice.

The study said that “the estimated annual per capita consumption of rice in Davao Region went down to 94.404 kilograms, 10.77% lower than the 2012 SFD level of 105.797 kilograms.” This is lower than the country’s consumption of rice per person a year at 109.87 kilograms.

Yesterday, City Agriculture Office Operations head Jovencio Umaging during the weekly iSpeak Forum, encouraged the production of root crops such as corn and cassava as alternative to rice in the city. This is to address the decreasing supply of rice in the city,

Umaging said that the city’s rice production cannot even feed the residents in one month as it only produces less than 10 percent of the required rice supply due to the small portion of agricultural land planted to rice and its concomitant irrigation problems.

Even if rice is our staple we do not produce enough for our country’s consumption. We heavily import rice from our neighbors such as Vietnam and Thailand to fulfill our needs. Though these countries produce rice, their consumption Is significantly low as compared to our own.

Most of us cannot do without rice. We need to study other sources of carbohydrates as staple or face the possibility of spending more money for a kilo of rice.

Posted in Opinion