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PIA Press Release

Save rice, eliminate hunger - NFA appeals to Aklanons

by Venus G. Villanueva

Kalibo, Aklan (5 February) -- If an Aklanon is one of the more than 88 million Filipinos wasting more or less 14 grams of rice everyday, he contributes to the 24,805 sacks of rice lost everyday which is equivalent to P22 million pesos.

According to the National Food Authority, much rice is lost because of careless handling and eating. From the rice lost everyday, 3.4 million Filipinos could be fed and be saved from hunger.

Of the 646,000 sacks of rice which comprise the daily consumption of the country's population, the wasted rice is equivalent to 14 days consumption.

NFA stressed that if Filipinos are careful in handling rice post harvest until the staple commodity reaches the table, the country's rice import will be reduced by 1.17 tons compared with 1.87 tons imported in 2007.

According to the NFA, these are the facts that came out from a study conducted by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) and the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) on rice wastage.

In Aklan, agriculture is one of the province' twin thrusts, with 9% or 16,835 hectares land area devoted to rice farming.

In Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez' recent State of the Province Report, 40,165 Aklanons are involved in rice production.

Governor Marquez also said Aklan's rice farmers continue to receive assistance from the GMA rice program such as organic fertilizers, farming equipment, and allocations of certified seeds.

For 2007, rice production in Aklan, according to Gov. Mrquez, increased by 7.74%, from only 136.155 in 2006 to this year's 146.691 metric tons.

Aklan remains a rice supplier with 63,459.19 consumption against 146,691 metric ton production, producing more than the Aklanons can eat, the reason why Aklan farmers from various towns of the province sell excess of their rice produce to the National Food Authority here through mobile procurement, or direct delivery to the NFA-Aklan warehouse. (PIA) [top]

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