By David C. Dawe
Rice is such an integral part of history and culture in the Philippines that for many Filipinos rice imports are a source of national shame. Many reasons are typically advanced for the failure to achieve rice self-sufficiency—faulty government policy, corruption, conversion of rice land to other uses, backward rice farmers, deteriorating irrigation systems, and lack of farm credit, among others. But all countries, including several rice exporters, complain about these problems. Although some of these problems are important, they do not explain why the Philippines imports rice.