Rice Tariffication, Good Governance, and Real Food Security

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With the lifting of the quantitative restrictions on rice imports, the Philippines is expecting an inflow of rice to enter in the next few months. Although this is expected to lead to a decrease in rice prices, this could similarly put pressure on some farmers’ incomes to the extent that they face stiffer competition from imported rice. This study seeks to identify the opportunities and options for the Philippines’ rice farmers in light of the implementation of the Rice Liberalization Act of 2019. The study analyzes the governance challenges the country’s agricultural sector has been facing, and the financial mechanisms and policies that will be necessary in order to support farmers in specific ways. To enhance the competitiveness of the domestic rice and agricultural industry as part of a broader strategy of adjustment, capacity building for collective action between government agencies and other stakeholders is essential. Furthermore, the study emphasizes that in order to attain real growth and food security for the country, we should start looking at our farmers as partners, and not as beneficiaries.