No rice shortage seen despite 1M metric tons production cut due to typhoons | Inquirer News
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No rice shortage seen despite 1M metric tons production cut due to typhoons

MANILA, Philippines—The country’s palay (raw rice) production will be reduced by around one million metric tons in 2011 as a result of typhoons that damaged farmlands, according to the head of the Department of Agriculture.

But Department of Agriculture officials assured senators, on Tuesday, there would be no rice shortage this year and in 2012. In fact, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala expressed confidence of the country being able to attain rice self-sufficiency by 2013.

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At the Senate hearing on the DA budget, Sen. Franklin Drilon, finance committee chairman, was told that palay production this year would have been 17.2 million metric tons if not for typhoons.

But because of the calamities, the projection went down ton some 16.2 million metric tons.

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“This should not be any serious concern because we have enough production and we have enough palay in stock,” Drilon told reporters after the hearing.

Alcala said the country would have registered its “higher yield of palay ever” if not for the devastation caused by the weather disturbances, more recently, Typhoons “Pedring” and “Quiel.”

“What the department is now doing is to preposition replacements for the damaged crops,” he said in Filipino. “The seeds that we will distribute to farmers will allow them to plant again as soon as possible, though harvest would be delayed.”

Alcala said the National Food Authority would determine by next month how much rice the country would need to import in 2012, to prevent shortages.

The target, eventually, is to make the Philippines self-sufficient in rice production by 2012, a goal Drilon described as “ambitious.”

“Not a few people have said that it is ambitious,” he said. “But we’re doing something for our country.”

Drilon noted that the target would require the country to increase its rice production by 21 million metric tons.

“It’s ambitious, but we will support this project of the Department of Agriculture,” he said. “We will provide the necessary funds in order to support our rice production, particularly for self-sufficiency by 2013.”

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TAGS: Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Department of Agriculture, Disasters, palay production, Rice production, rice shortage, typhoons
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