NFA assures enough rice supply

By: Izobelle T. Pulgo May 17,2016 - 10:58 PM
The El Niño phenomenon had minimal impact on rice farms in Central Visayas. Nonetheless, the National Food Authority assured there is enough supply for the next 62 days for the entire region. Local government units are encouraged to take part in NFA’s “MOA for Calamities” program to be able to get rice supply in times of calamities. (CDN FILE PHOTO)

The El Niño phenomenon had minimal impact on rice farms in Central Visayas. Nonetheless, the National Food Authority assured there is enough supply for the next 62 days for the entire region. Local government units are encouraged to take part in NFA’s “MOA for Calamities” program to be able to get rice supply in times of calamities. (CDN FILE PHOTO)

The National Food Authority (NFA) regional office yesterday assured that there is enough rice supply for Central Visayas in the next two months.

Nestor Alcoseba, NFA 7 assistant regional director, said around 2.18 million bags of imported rice have been allocated for the region.

This would be good for 62 days, double the required mid-year buffer supply of at least 30 days, Alcoseba said.

“The government has enough stocks for 62 days. We are ready for whatever will happen. Should it happen nga wala na’y stock ang commercial, we have 62 days’ supply,” he added.

An inventory will be conducted on June 30 to prepare for the months of July, August, and September, which are non-harvest months.

“Actually, ang Central Visayas is not a production area. We are a deficit region, meaning our production, no matter how big our production is, is not sufficient for the consumption of Central Visayas,” Alcoseba said.

In times of calamity, he said the NFA is implementing a program that will allow local government units (LGUs) to get rice from the NFA on credit for one month.

“Ang kaning measure karon nga among gihimo, we sign with the LGU then automatic, pwede ka mokuha og 100 bags (or) 200 bags for immediate assistance. Unya na ang paperworks later (LGUs can immediately get 100 or 200 bags of rice, with paperwork to be accomplished later),” he said.

“Sadly, only 28 percent of the LGUs all over Region 7 ang ni-sign up ana (have signed up),” he added.

The “MOA for Calamities” program has been going on for at least 10 years. Such an agreement is co-terminus with the mayor who signed it, but may be renewed.

Francisco Sopsop, Department of Agriculture (DA 7) Planning Division head, said the El Niño phenomenon has minimal effect on rice production in the region.

“In fact, naa man ta’y official data from the PSA, nag-indicate jud diri nga although duna ta’y slight deduction in production in terms of rice diri sa upland non-irrigated rice, gitawag namo na siya og rain-fed rice, duna siya’y slight deduction in production pero diri sa irrigated, wala ra kaayo siya,”he said.

Based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, irrigated rice production last year reached 336,194 metric tons, lower than the 338,822 metric tons for 2014.

Rain-fed rice production for 2015 was 119,028 metric tons, also lower than the 123,756 metric tons in 2014.

“As far as the data is concerned, because we experienced atong grabe-grabe na nga El Niño diri na sa later part of the year unya kana nga mga later part of the year, mao na man na ang mga harvesting time,” he said.

“So dili na kaayo daghan ang on the vegetative stage, it’s more on the harvesting stage. Duna gud guro siya’y impact on some areas especially those mga late planters pero sa atong mga regular, naka-harvest na most of the farmers,” he added.

Corn production, according to PSA, also decreased from 164,197 metric tons for 2014 to 150,051 metric tons for 2015.

Sopsop said they have been allocated P22 million for the purchase of seeds and water pumps as well as vitamins and antibiotics for animals under their El Niño action plan.

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TAGS: National Food Authority, NFA, rice, rice supply, supply

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