DA says no imminent threat of rice shortage despite calamities PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 August 2013 11:37

The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Thursday told members of the House Appropriations Committee that there is no imminent rice shortage despite reported losses due to Typhoons Maring and Nanding and the enhanced southwest monsoon or “habagat.”

Appearing at his agency’s budget hearing, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala stressed that the country has enough supply of rice and the Philippines remains on track to rice self-sufficiency by the end of the year.

“Harvesting of palay had already started in several provinces; this would negate any concerns over an imminent rice shortage due to the successive calamities,” Alcala told the House panel.

According to the National Food Authority (NFA), rice farmers in Western and Eastern Visayas, Western and Southern Mindanao and in Cagayan have started harvesting palay since the middle of this month..

This early, harvest is expected to boost the country’s rice stocks – which stands at 604,762 metric tons or 12,095,234 bags as of August 13 based on NFA records.

The DA said that the bulk of the harvest from the rice production areas of Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions will come in during the traditional harvest months of September to November.

Alcala reported to the House panel that losses in the rice sector brought about by the combined effects of the natural calamities would have minimal effect on the country’s rice self-sufficiency goal by the end of this year.

“This is because DA had included an annual allowance of 600,000 metric tons of rice for typhoon damages in our projections; we have not even reached 25 percent of that allowance this year,” Alcala said.