The looming rice shortage


The drought phenomenon which is hitting major economies all over the world is here with us.
It is already September and not much rain has fallen. So many rice farmers had failed to plant due to lack of water or irrigation. It was forecasted that we will again be importing rice from neighboring countries such as Vietnam and Thailand. That is, if our chance has not been foreclosed by our being too late. The expected rice exports of those countries might have already been reserved by other countries, leaving us with no other available source.
It would be nice to see how our government will react to such a situation. Perhaps it will serve to wake us up from the usual politics that bogs down all government processes like the supposed importation of sugar. Hoarders were able to derail that one which forced some soft drink manufacturers to close some of their plants.
Anyway, since BBM said the price of rice can go down to P21.00 per kilo, let us see how it will happen.
The “badder” news is this thing has been happening for many generations already. And yet we never conquered our rice problems.
A typical refrain we hear every time is, the Thais, the Vietnamese and many other countries, all the way to Africa, learned from us. In the 1960s and 1970s, they’d been sending their agricultural experts to study in UP Los Banos. Indeed, they learned valuable things there that after they went back home, their respective agricultural sectors became world class. We ended up being their buyers, or eating their dust.
But, again, what have we done to lick the problem? Nothing much. We are still just singing the same refrain.
At least, we will soon know that we cannot eat politics or the high-sounding words or bombast of politicians.
It would be nice though to eat rice at P21.00 per kilo. Our guess, however, is we will be entertained again at how the masses will be made to believe there was nothing BBM could do about it. That it was force majeure or an act of God.**


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