Assessing the Rice Industry of La Union, Northern Philippines
Focused on rice, this study was designed to assess the trend of local production, consumption, and marketing practices and analyze the demand and supply situation in La Union. The data, drawn from 75 consumers, 75 sellers, and 75 farmers who were randomly selected from the top-producing municipalities using the stratified proportionate random sampling, were statistically analyzed using frequency counts, percentages, ranking, weighted mean, and regression analysis. The study found that the volume and value of rice production were on upward trend. The consumers preferred local regular milled and whole rice. The per capita consumption (PCC) of rice in Region 1 was higher than the national level by 8.54 kg. Majority of the farmers had 0.75 ha farm size and practiced cropping system. They preferred to sell their products directly to wholesalers using tricycle, milled and on a per-kilo basis. Majority of the rice traders sourced their products from the wholesaler, on pakyaw basis, delivered in the market and paid on cash basis. Texture, nutritional value, and general appearance were the foremost considerations in the consumption pattern of consumer while pest and diseases and limited suitable display area was the most serious problems of rice farmers and traders. Based on market supply and demand analysis, there is a huge market surplus of this rice by 2016 onwards. This suggests the need to provide support systems in the form of trainings and seminars, as well as marketing and financial assistance, and to strengthen product development for the utilization of the local market.