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Abstract

Using the value chain analysis (VCA) framework, this research analyzed the rice value chain (RVC) in the Philippines, examined the value additions, identified constraints, and proposed upgrading strategies to enhance the competitiveness of the rice industry and the specific segments in the RVC. Primary data were derived from key informant interviews in government and non-government agencies, surveys from farmers, paddy traders, millers, wholesalers, wholesaler-retailers, and retailers in 20 major rice-producing provinces and demand centers. Stakeholders’ workshops were also conducted to validate the preliminary findings and identify upgrading strategies. Descriptive and economic approaches were applied in data analysis. The country’s RVC starts with the provision of inputs to produce paddy, and ends with the consumption of milled rice. The RVC is dominated by a traditional multi-layered supply chain with interconnected chain actors composed of competing farmers, paddy traders, millers, and rice traders in each segment and, oftentimes, with the engagement of brokers in both paddy aggregation and rice distribution, thereby, increasing marketing cost. The major constraints identified in the RVC included high production and marketing costs of paddy and rice attributed to low yield, high labor cost and material inputs, and insufficient crucial infrastructure and market facilities (e.g., modern mills, dryer, cheap transport, and energy), which result in high domestic paddy and rice prices, and low competitiveness of the entire rice VC. To enhance the level of competitiveness, the rice industry should concentrate on generating and promoting yield-increasing, postharvest loss-reducing, and cost-minimizing technologies, as well as those that improve overall efficiency in the RVC such as investments in enabling infrastructure, and facilities for transport, handling, storage, drying and milling.

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