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Philippines: Food Security versus Agricultural Exports?

Marites Tiongco and Kris A. Francisco

No DP 2011-35, Discussion Papers from Philippine Institute for Development Studies

Abstract: This paper tries to characterize the current situation in the Philippines with respect to the goal of the Aquino administration to be food secure and self-sufficient in rice by 2016. Specifically, it aims to address the question: "Should the government continue its efforts in increasing rice productivity to achieve food self-sufficiency, or should it focus instead on increasing the production of high-value crops for exports, in the aim of achieving food security?" The study finds that the Philippines is far from being food secure. Looking at the food-trade balance at the macro level, it was noted that food security has deteriorated through time due to increased imports. At the micro level, several indicators of food self-sufficiency and food security were identified. A negative correlation between food self-sufficiency and all four indicators of food security namely: 1) value of food consumption, 2) share of nonstaples, 3) share of animal products, and 4) proportion of households with sufficient food, was established with respect to the relationship of food security, food self-sufficiency, and well-being. Rice self-sufficiency on the other hand, was found to be positively correlated with food security and per capita expenditure, which is a measure of standard of living. Moreover, the paper looked into the relationship of agricultural exports on food security. In particular, it examined the effect of expanding the production of high-value crops for export, and its possible contribution to food insecurity, in terms of reducing the domestic food production. Results revealed that the expansion of export crop production will not displace crop land, nor will it have a significant effect on staple crop availability or prices.

Keywords: Philippines; food security; food self-sufficiency; rice self-sufficiency; agricultural exports (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 36
Date: 2011
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