An average Filipino diet is based on rice. It provides half of our calorie requirements and one-third of our protein intake. Rice accounts for 20% of food expenditures for average households, which increases to 30% for households belonging to the bottom third of our society.

As a durable crop that can be relied on to bring good harvest year in and year out, rice is grown in some 3.2 million hectares of land, providing livelihood to more than two million households engaged in rice-based farming, along with millions of farm laborers, and tens of thousands of merchants and traders.

Rice, as a food staple, is an economic commodity. It is both a major expenditure item and a source of income for many households. As food is our most basic necessity, demand for rice cuts across all social classes. Rural households also depend, in varying degrees, on the various stages of rice production for livelihood.

Rice also plays important macroeconomic and developmental roles. Movements in the price of rice have a substantial bearing on overall inflation rates, fuelling concern from policymakers on pricing and fiscal stability. Because a large part of the population remains in agriculture, growth in output and productivity are essential to spur economic development.

Globally, food supply is threatened by a growing demand to feed an increasing population in the face of scarcity in land and water resources. Since a majority of small Filipino farmers and rural households depend on food farming for their own consumption and income, government support is critical to encourage domestic production or self-sufficiency to address poverty, food insecurity, and providing a key ingredient to economic stability in the long term.

It is towards these ends that the National Rice Program plays an important role in the flagship food program of the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Rice Program

The Rice Program is one of the banner components of the Department of Agriculture mainly concerned in rice farming and uplifting the lives of Filipino farmers.

Guided by the principles of the Agrikulturang Pilipino (Agri-Pinoy) framework, the National Rice Program integrates government initiatives and interventions for the agriculture sector, namely: food security and self-sufficiency, sustainable resource management, support services from farm to table, and broad-based local partnerships.


The Rice Program plays a key role in the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP), the central focus of the country's food security policy from 2011 to 2016 and beyond.

With the vision of a food-secure society where farmers enjoy a decent and rising standards of living, the FSSP 2011-2016 aims to achieve self-sufficiency in food staples. Self-sufficiency means satisfying domestic requirements for food, seeds, processing, and feeds through domestic production.

The key target is to produce the country's domestic requirements by 2013. Beyond 2013, the aim is to strengthen national resilience in staples production.

The key strategies are concentrated in the following: (1) raising farmers' productivity and competitiveness, (2) enhancing economic incentives and enabling mechanisms, and (3) managing food staples consumption.


To carry out these objectives, various government interventions are undertaken from the national to the local levels in the form of support to rice production; irrigation; postharvest and other infrastructure facilities; market development services; extension, education and training services; and research and development.

Focal Person: Ma. Theresa S. Aguilar 
Report Officer: Ronald Degala