How to Blog an Exploding Man?

South East Asia: Center of the Rice Crisis

Posted on: May 2, 2008

Rice is the most staple food in this country, where in every corner of this archipelago, people are looking for rice. We never thought that there would be a rice crisis – or shortage of rice production, – but here we are now, at the center of the rice crisis. The government spends about $0.46 in every $100 of agriculture output, a level much lower than those of developing countries, which spends $0.53 in every $100, and much much lower in highly industrialized countries at $2.00 in every $100.

Now, where is the Philippines in this picture? Let’s not pin-point the Philippines as the main culprit. But yes! We do have contributed in this crisis – and we are in the forefront of the crisis. But there are many other reasons why we do have this crisis.

1. Oil Price is still as high as ever. Which means that basic transportation, work efficiency by using farm production engines, and other factors are contributing to a higher production cost.

2. Agricultural pest which pestered Vietnam and Thailand, world’s largest rice-producing countries. They ate up more that 200,000 tons of rice, and so, the countries needs to heap their rice production to alleviate their needs. They need a better pest control system. A costly need.

3. Climate change which collapsed Australia’s rice production- due to drought. It has eaten away at global rice stocks, which the country importers need to sustain their rice.

4. A population problem to the region, one of the highest rates in the World, leading to a corresponding leap in rice and agricultural consumption. Also, the population needs meat, and meat production requires huge amounts of water, labor, and grains to feed cattle, which in turn diverts resources away from rice production.

5. Less farmland, and irrigation in archipelagic region of South East Asia. The countries with main problem of rice is Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The Philippines has about 4 million hectares of agricultural farmland, but without a backbone of a river delta – like Mekong River of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – which by providing an easy and abundant water source, can produce higher yields of rice.

6. And lastly, without the use of irrigation, the countries is increasingly transforming farmland into office parks and suburbs. In the Philippines, half of irrigated land has been transformed into urban development in the past two decades. While this fuels new economic engines such as services and industry, it also undercuts resources needed to grow food.

The current crisis has prompted the countries to underscore their policies which is currently need of revision. The crisis itself had exposed the fallacy of the countries that rice is abundant, and we can get rice everywhere. Instead of having their policies amended, the exporting countries protected their looming rice supplies with increasing rice prices, and imposed rice export restrictions, leaving other countries to scramble to get their rice supplies. And with their intense need, economic laws are in motion – the Law of Supply and Demand.

On my next: This brought us to the Philippines, as the epicenter of the rice crisis.



9 Responses to "South East Asia: Center of the Rice Crisis"

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[…] Read more on this topic in How to Blog an Exploding Man? […]

But if only Gloria was wise enough, or has the brains enough to justify her Harvard degree, to focus on achieving rice sufficiency instead of trumpeting this nation as a monumental rice importer, the carnage of the times we have today wouldn’t be as worse as it looks.

thanks for the comment..
you are absolutely right. being rice sufficient for decades to come will be the only solution for this country.. but other political motives have brought us to this point now, we have not readied ourselves.

hoy! npkserious naman ng topic mu s blog mu!!!!hehehehe mishu friend… i started my own blog n din,,, kea lan ala p maxado posts…anyhoo, in case u want to take peek e2

[…] Epicenter of Rice Crisis As I have already spread out in the first part of this post, there are many factors why the rice prices are going up, way up high. Personally, I believe that […]

[…] I have already spread out in the first part of this post, there are many factors why the rice prices are going up, way up high. Personally, I believe that […]

Food grain shortage may have many reasons but two main reasons we are not taking into consideration. They are excessive urban growth and pruning agricultural lands and agriculture as non profitable business any more. One of the richest states (KERALA) in India has turned as consumer state rather than producing. 25 years back it produced rice and sold to other states now as the land converted to urban and houses has resulted shortage of agricultural land the main culprit for this issue is non profitable business. This situation will further aggravate if state government does step up for immediate action.

Similar situation is now with entire world, demand is more and production is less due to imbalanced economic policies. More attention is given to urban economic growth than the rural research and development. A day will come when a slogan or will find ad “Buy one kg of rice and get a laptops free” as computers and other electronic products will be much cheaper. Economic growth has to be balanced considering social condition of the country. Banning exports of essential items is only temporary solution to overcome present situation but for future food grain shortage will further aggravate as
• Global warming (even excessive urbanization has role to warm our globe). Excessive human population, Excessive concrete buildings – industries, carbon fuel based transportations heat up environment to reduce moisture in land results shortage and uncertain rain, river shrinkage, draught, shortage of water and so on.
• 25 years back there was more agricultural land than of today many of them converted to more and more housing and industrial lands; whereas population growing fast, feeding will become challenge to most countries even developed countries will not escape. Nature’s priority is water, food and then shelter. Economic and scientific growth need to be first based on human needs.
• Urban related economic growth thrusts agricultural land conversion to cities and building to accommodate urban population and industries. Over 20% of farm lands of developing countries have been converted to cities and buildings for the past decade and Over 50% of farmlands of villages (close to cities) got merged with cities.
• Non profitable food grain production (international organization and appropriate governments shall have to reconsider bring back agricultural subsidies). Also make agriculture more profitable by linking customer and farmers by way of direct procurement by large stores, and other agencies so mediators and brokers are kept away.
• Escalation of essential food prices by “Satta” futures trading helps hording so less and less mediators between producer and final customer. Present system of trading agricultural goods only helps middlemen from wholesalers to brokers. Their financial power helps them hold back stock to create artificial shortage.
• Irrigation and water shortage (In fact water crisis is there but in some states and countries water is excessive causing disaster or consumed by sea. If scientists of missiles or warplanes work on how river water reaches sea after consumed by entire world, would convert desert land to fertile land).

putik. english. :))

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