Despite El Niño, Central Visayas has sufficient rice supply

May 17, 2016 (updated)

By Elikha Joy Janaban, Jasmine Astudillo and Esteve Urot

Cebu City – Despite the ongoing havoc caused by the prolonged dry weather characterizing the El Niño phenomenon in farms in Central Visayas, the National Food Authority (NFA) yesterday assured that the there is no danger of a shortage in rice because the region has enough sufficient supply of rice.
In a forum, NFA in Central Visayas (NFA-7) Assistant Regional Director Nestor Rey Alcoseba revealed that there are more than 2.1 million bags of rice allocated for Central Visayas out of the 750,000 metric tons delivered nationwide. The said rice supply is equivalent to a rice buffer of 62 days.
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Alcoseba said an estimated 187 hectares are affected by El Niño in Cebu’s 32 municipalities. Damage in rice production in Cebu has been pegged at a total of P2.647 million. In Bohol, damage to rice plantations in at least five towns in the province is estimated to come to a total of P3.850 million.
The NFA is urging local government units in the region to team up with the government agency so they can immediately take out rice supply in case they see a shortage of rice in their respective areas.
“There is no problem with the stock, the problem is with the LGUs that do not reach out to the NFA for rice,” Alcoseba said.
The Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA-7)’s Planning Division Chief Francisco Sopsop said DA-7 has allocated P22 million to rice farmers affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon.
The province of Cebu has already been declared under a state of calamity due to the onset of the El Niño, with damages mostly in mango plantations, rice and other crops.