Bangladesh will not import rice over the next six months to June 2012 because it has bulging domestic stocks and procurement at home is rising, thanks to successive record crops, a senior procurement official said on Wednesday.
Although Bangladesh is the world's fourth biggest rice producer, with average annual output of 33 million tonnes, it emerged as a major importer early this year, doing several government-to-government deals with Vietnam and Thailand, the world's top two exporters of the grain.
The Philippines could become a rice exporter by 2014, or a year after attaining self-sufficiency in its national staple, and will study possible varieties it could sell to the international market, the agriculture secretary said.
The Southeast Asian country, the world's biggest rice buyer in recent years, has been working to expand rice acreage and build post-harvest facilities to achieve the goal of producing enough rice for domestic consumption by 2013, as well as exports of the grain, Proceso Alcala told reporters late on Thursday.
"We are still targeting self-sufficiency by the end of 2013, and we are hoping to start exporting rice by 2014," Alcala said.
The government increased the agriculture department's 2012 budget by more than 50 percent to 53.3 billion pesos ($1.2 billion), allowing it to fund projects aimed at producing 18.6 million tonnes of umilled rice next year, President Benigno Aquino said on Thursday.