MANILA (Commodity Online) : As part of its rice recovery scheme, Philippines is to produce at least 500,000 metric tons of paddy rice to narrow the expected production shortfall of unmilled rice.

Country's Agriculture ministry is in the process of validating its figures with the budget for its rice recovery plan during the wet cropping season.

The ministry was planning to spend around P600 million for three programs to narrow the expected production shortfall.

Under the scheme, the ministry will roll out the fertilizer assistance program for irrigated and rain-fed areas, quick turn-around planting program, and the upland rice development program.

Philippines's paddy rice production for 2010 would hit 16.2 million MT, slightly lower than the 16.3 million MT produced last year.

Paddy rice output in 2009 would have exceeded the 17 million MT if not for the damage wrought by tropical cyclones Ondoy and Pepeng on major rice producing provinces in the Philippines.

Government figures showed that around 1.2 million MT of paddy rice was destroyed in late 2009, and brought importation to reach a record 2.24 million MT of rice, mainly from Vietnam and Thailand, to fill in the production gap.

The extreme dry spell in the first quarter of this year also destroyed as much as 400,000 MT standing rice crops and delayed the planting schedule for the wet season.