Western Visayas rice supply to last 85 days
Iloilo City (24 February) -- Western Visayas has 5.5 million bags of rice inventories enough to last for the next 85 days, according to the National Food Authority (NFA) here.
The number of days wherein the region's rice supply was projected to last was based on the regional daily requirement for the staple cereal of 65,620 bags a day.
NFA Regional Manager Miguel Wycoco said that of the inventories, 1.07 million bags are in their warehouses, 1.4 million bags at the household level, 1.5 million bags with the traders, and 1.4 million bags represent production output.
The data on production output provided by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) is the estimated rice equivalent of expected palay harvests in February, which are part of the third crop season.
Palay harvests in March are expected to further boost the region's rice supply.
The figures were provided by NFA to back up the assurance it made earlier on the adequacy of rice supply in the region especially in view of the threat posed by the El Nino phenomenon on agriculture.
Wycoco said that they are ready for any contingency that might arise in the rice supply situation due to the prolonged dry spell.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture (DA) here has drawn up contingencies to mitigate the effects of the dry weather spell on the third rice crop, which covers an area of 42,000 hectares regionwide.
DA Regional Executive Director and regional El Nino Task Force chair Larry Nacionales said these measures include proper irrigation management, use of shallow tube wells as alternative source of irrigation, and pest management.
In fact, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), which are members of the task force, are ready to provide alternative livelihood and food-for-work and direct food assistance to affected farmers. (PIA 6) [top]