Secretary Dar: PH will have enough rice supply until March 2021
CEBU CITY, Philippines —The Department of Agriculture projected that the country would have a 94-day rice buffer stock would continue by the end of December 2020.
“We would like to inform the public that based on our estimates, the country will enjoy an ending rice inventory of 3.27 million metric tons (MMT) by December 31 this year. That means we will have rice to feed the entire country for 94 more days or three months, up to March 2021,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a news release posted on the DA Facebook page.
According to Dar, the DA estimate was based on the official data of the Philippine Statistics Authority, and validated on the ground by the DA’s regional field offices.
“Our rice supply inventory comes from three sources: first, from beginning stock or surplus carried over from the previous year; second, from local production; and thirdly, from imports. Hence, our total rice supply by year-end is estimated at 17.99 million metric tons (MMT), which is 18 percent over our total rice demand of 14.67 MMT,” Dar said.
The computation also factors in the contribution of the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP) under the DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant Program or the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) kontra COVID-19.
“We expect the rice resiliency project to add at least 1.03 MMT to our current projected local production of 12.76 MMT. This equates to elevating our sufficiency level by seven percent, from 87 percent to 94 percent,” Secretary Dar said.
He added that the DA would count on the on the support of local chief executives, particularly of rice-producing provinces, and the hard work of the farmers to attain the increase in palay production.
The DA will ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the RRP, which will provide farmers free quality rice seeds and fertilizers.
The RRP will be implemented on top of the DA’s existing rice programs such as the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), and national inbred and hybrid rice program; thus, covering more areas,” Dar said.
With the projections, the DA assures the public of enough rice throughout the enhanced community quarantine and beyond.
“Let us not create unnecessary panic in our food supply. Rest assured we remain keen and forward-looking to squarely address concerns that threaten our food security,” Dar said./dbs
Subscribe to our regional newsletter
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.