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May 2024

DA assures stable rice supply in 2024 despite production decline in Q1

By Stephanie Sevillano

AMPLE SUPPLY. Several rice varieties are displayed at a stall in Nepa Q-Mart in Cubao, Quezon City on April 11, 2024. The Department of Agriculture on Thursday (May 2, 2024) assured that the country will have sufficient supply of rice for the whole year despite a dip in production in the first quarter of 2024 due to the El Niño phenomenon. (PNA photo by Ben Briones)

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Thursday assured of a stable supply of rice for the entire year despite the slight decline in production during the first three months of 2024 due to the El Niño phenomenon.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa made the assurance after the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that rice production from January to March this year dropped to 4.68 million metric tons (MMT), compared to 4.78 MMT for the same period last year.

“Bumababa siya ng bahagyang-bahagya (It slightly decreased) by almost 100,000 metric tons. Mayroon pa naman tayong upcoming na wet season, mas malaki ang production na nangyayari (We still have the upcoming wet season, there’s a higher production happening) during the wet season,” de Mesa said in an interview.

As early as now, the DA is already assisting farmers with their land preparation for the wet season, he said.

These include early distribution of seedlings, fertilizers and fertilizer vouchers, and machinery through the DA’s regional offices and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

The National Food Authority (NFA) also ordered its local offices to secure contracts for drying facilities to avoid wastage during the wet harvest season.

Besides local production, de Mesa said the country continues to secure its rice supply through importation.

To date, around 1.1 million MT of imported rice has already been delivered. (PNA) QR Code

Published Date: May 2, 2024

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