DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The National Food Authority said on Monday that they would continue to import rice because the rice produced by local farmers are insufficient to supply the entire Davao region.
Edegary Rongacal, manager of NFA-Davao City, pointed out that only Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur are capable of producing rice.
He also said that NFA must be able to maintain the buffer stock of rice to maintain “food security.”
The stock holding of the rice warehouses, as of now, is more than 350,000 bags of rice, which is equivalent to 33 days of consumption for the whole population of the city.
The NFA must have at least 30 days of buffer stocks of food. “Now we are more than what is required for us so we are safe for that,” she said
For his part, Engr. Ricardo “Bong” M. Oñate Jr., officer in charge regional executive director of NFA said local farmers could provide enough rice for the whole region.
“We really need buffer stock but we have to make sure that we the supply especially during calamities,” he said.
Oñate said that among the areas in the region, Davao del Sur provides the most number of rice bags with its agricultural land area of 301,989 hectares.
Oñate said that on a national scale, Department of Agriculture aimed to target six tons of rice for every hectare to be sufficient compared to the current figures at 3.9 tons per hectare.
“If we will add one ton per hectare, definitely the supply will be sufficient,” he said.
While they are planning to increase their production per hectare, Oñate said that DA is also planning to reduce their cost of production.
“We should level up our mechanization program and reduce our loss during post-harvest which is usually 15 percent of the total harvest,” he said.
Oñate advised farmers to join cooperatives and groups.
The regional director said DA has forged a partnership with Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas to extend assistance to all the farmers. (davaotoday.com)