Friday, May 15, 2009
Organic rice gains wider market in shopping malls despite high price, low production.
Despite its high price in supermarkets—the main outlet for growers who want to promote the crop to a wider public acceptance—the market for organic rice has expanded to include people who earn less money
Restie Male, project manager of the Philippine Development Assistance Programme Inc. (Pdap), said the market has already cut across the economic classes down to “D”, the society’s poorer section.
“That means more and more people are getting conscious about their health, and would pay for their money’s worth,” he told in a weekly press conference at the Marco Polo Hotel here.
He said growers of organic rice—the red and black rice—have opted to display their products in the supermarkets after a study they’ve conducted show that more clients have access to organic rice, as well as muscovado, or brown sugar, in supermarkets in shopping malls.
The price of organic rice remains high at P60 per kilo compared with P35 to P38 per kilo of conventional, well-milled rice, he said. Production cost though, is lower at P20,000 per hectare compared with P30,000 per hectare of conventional rice.
Production, however, remains low, with Mindanao producing the bulk for a market that includes Metro Manila. “We can not yet supply the needs of all clients in Metro Manila, and even in the local markets in Mindanao where this is grown,” Male said.
Organic rice is grown in Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur, and by two farmers’ cooperatives in Maguindanao, “although other growers can be found in Aparri in the north and Tawi-Tawi in the south. Most of these are family-sized farm lots,” he said.
“There not many growers in Visayas and Luzon, and we have made a little inroad in Nueva Ecija,” he said, adding that Central Luzon, the country’s rice granary, remains the major producer of conventionally grown rice that depend on chemical inputs.
Pdaf said of the 1.8 million hectares planted to rice, only 14,538 hectares are organic. “We’re producing 6.8 million metric tons [MT] of conventional rice annually, while we produce only 58,000 MT per cropping,” Male said.
“But organic rice consumption is growing by about 15 percent to 20 percent annually in the Philippines. Worldwide, the market for organic foods is also growing,” he added.
By Business Mirror
Click the links below to increase your organic crop harvest, and lower your input costs.
Click here to review Nutrplant AG Organic Fertilizer
Click here to review Nutriplant SD Organic Seed Germination Fertilizer
Click here to review Apsa80 Adjuvant to increase the efficacy of all your applied products