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PIA Press Release

100,000 MT rice surplus in Eastern Visayas to mitigate impact of impending rice shortage in Luzon, DA assures

Tacloban City (October 25) -- Eastern Visayas is ready to contribute its 19% rice surplus to complement the national rice requirement that is feared to be affected because of the adverse effects of flash floods that resulted in the devastation of rice granaries in Luzon.

This was pronounced by Department of Agriculture Region 8 Executive Director Leo Caneda during the Drive Out Hunger Forum held at the Leyte Park Hotel Gym on October 21.

Director Caneda who is the chairman of the Regional Anti-Hunger Task Force said that the surplus in rice production in the Region totals to about 100,000 metric tons or 2 million bags of rice.

Director Caneda said that the Department of Agriculture is ready to enhance the current strategies to beef up staple food supply and mitigate the impact of the projected rice shortage in 2010.

According to Director Caneda, Eastern Visayas currently has 119 percent rice sufficiency and even with the projected 7.3 percent decline in rice production due to the effects of climate change and major typhoon devastation, the region will not fall short in its rice requirements.

Director Caneda disclosed that one way to avert the projected national rice shortage is to intensify the drive of the Department of Agriculture to encourage farmers to plant high-yielding rice varieties in order to meet the target of 100 percent of rice farms to be planted with high quality rice seeds.

The Department is pushing for the expansion to nearby towns of Ormoc City, the ingenuous practice of double hybrid rice harvest dubbed as rice rationing.

Another DA program is the goal of covering about 16,720 hectares of flood-prone rice farms in Eastern Visayas, in its attempt to plant submergence tolerant rice genotypes this year. (PIA 8) [top]

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