Business, Finance & Economics

The price of rice

Outside a government warehouse in Manila, this impatient crowd has been waiting for hours for a chance to buy rice. Inside the warehouse, dozens of workers are scooping the government subsidized rice into one-kilo bags. With world prices at record levels, it's all many people can afford�each person is allowed to buy just three bags, a form of rationing. Some people blame the government. The Secretary for Agriculture says his country will be the world's biggest rice importer this year. You have to drive about an hour outside of Manila before you can find rice fields. Here you can see how limited investment has been in agriculture, with little irrigation or government support. The government admits it has neglected agriculture, but the Secretary says they will try to make amends with a drive towards self-sufficiency. The authorities are also taking action against what they believe is a chief cause of price rises, hoarding by rice traders. The Philippines' equivalent of the FBI are preparing to raid this warehouse where they believe hoarding is going on. The struggle is much larger than this one raid though.

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