DA: PH has have enough rice supply to last for 84 days by the end of June

By: Irene R. Sino Cruz - CDN Digital | April 16,2020 - 12:40 PM

CEBU CITY—The Philippines will have sufficient supply of rice for 84 days by the end of June, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.

In a press release posted on the Department of Agriculture (DA) website, Dar explained that the implementation of DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant program or the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra Covid-19 would result in the increase in rice yield.

“We earlier said that we have rice supply for the country good for 75 days. With the implementation of the Plant, Plant, Plant Program, we are optimistic to produce an additional 9-day supply going into the lean months of July to September,” he noted.

The expected harvest from the main wet season crop and import arrivals based on the issued sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSICs) will ensure that the country will have enough rice supply for the entire year, according to Dar.

“At a conservative assumption of 70 percent adoption rate of the Plant, Plant, Plant Program interventions on rice, we can produce an additional 1.3 million metric tons (MMT). Add that to our projected local production and imports with SPSICs of 1.86 MT, we will have a year-end stock good for more than three months,” he added.

By the end of 2020, the DA expects a total rice supply of 18 MMT, which is 18 percent more than this year’s demand of 14.67 MMT of rice.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases had already approved the P8.5- billion fund for the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP) under the Plant, Plant, Plant Program.

The RRP aims to boost palay production by the end of 2020 to 22.12 million metric tons (MMT), equivalent to 13.51 MMT of rice.

Right after the current dry season, the DA under its RRP will encourage farmers to plant more areas by providing them quality seeds, fertilizers, and appropriate technical assistance.

The RRP will cover more areas this main cropping season, totaling 2.7 million hectares, with 1.2 million hectares under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund to be planted to inbred rice; 550,000 hectares planted to hybrid; and 950,000 hectares to inbred rice.

The DA projects that by end of 2020, six regions — the Cordillera Administrative Region, National Capital Region, IV-A, Central Visayas, XI and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao — will not have enough rice supply. However, their deficit will be filled in by the other 10 rice-surplus regions.

“Hence, we will pre-position the rice stocks to meet the demands in rice-deficit regions,” Dar said.

“We won’t tire in appealing to our local executives to help us fight this war against COVID-19 and the threat of hunger to the country. Together, we will win and heal as one,” he said. /bmjo


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TAGS: Ahon Lahat, ALPAS, COVID-19, DA, Kontra Covid-19, Pagkaing Sapat, plant, Plant program, sufficient, supply of rice, William Dar

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