PH food security ranking goes up

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The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) showed the Philippines fell short of the global average of food supply for 2018.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 18) — Amid near-decade inflation highs, the Philippines' ranking rose in the latest Global Food Security Index (GFSI)

The 2018 report released Wednesday said the country placed 70th among 113 countries assessed, with a score of 51.5 out of 100. The Philippines went up from last year's 79th, with a score of 47.3, but it remains in the lower half of the index.

A score of 100 points means there is ideal food security in the country.

The index, from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), measures food security indicators under three major factors: affordability, availability, and quality and safety.

The report showed the Philippines fell short of the global average of food supply for 2018. It also pointed out that food consumption takes up 42.2 percent of household expenses in the Philippines, while global averages are at 29.5 percent.

Challenges that pose a risk to food security in the country include lack of agricultural research and development and corruption, it added.

President Rodrigo Duterte on October 12 admitted the agriculture sector is the "weakest link" in the economy, adding that he cannot solve the rice sufficiency problem in the Philippines during his term despite attempts to boost its supply. Duterte also said he had considered quitting in August due to his failed attempts to address corruption in the country. <>

He then ordered to minimize processing of imports relation to rice, in hopes to "curtail the prevalence of corruption and cartel domination in the rice industry." The National Food Council added it will import of an additional 750,000 metric tons of rice.

The Philippines posted a nine-year high 6.7 percent inflation rate in September. Food and non-alcoholic products contributed to the constant increase, as well as controversies regarding rice supply hounding the National Food Authority.

Singapore took the top spot in this year's index, followed by Ireland. Burundi was in last place.