The Philippines’s National Food Authority plans to purchase 120,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam or Cambodia for its reserve stocks this year, according to Philippines Minister of Agriculture Proceso Alcala.

Alcala said that the Philippines will import rice from Vietnam until 2013 under an agreement signed between the two countries’ governments.

The Philippines is the largest importer of rice in the world with a record of 2.45 million tonnes in 2010.

The Philippine’s Ministry of Agriculture reported that in the fifth-month crop in 2012, the country is likely to harvest 18.46 million tonnes of paddy rice, up 1.78 million tonnes over 2011.

The country has set a rice import quota of 500,000 tonnes this year, but looks to become self-sufficient in rice by the end of 2013.-VNA