Group tells DA to put off plans for rice importation

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Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) advised the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Friday, November 20, to put off plans to import rice due to the damage caused by the recent typhoons that hit the Philippines.

SINAG chairperson Rosendo So said that the DA should re-assess the situation before deciding to import rice since some areas have just started to plant or harvest rice.

For this year, I think wala tayong problema (on rice production), so dapat hindi muna yung importation ang isipin,” So said during DZRH’s ACS Balita.

DA Sec. William Dar said on Thursday, November 19, that the Philippines will have to import rice in 2021 after the country lost about eight days worth of supply due to typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses.

Dar explained that DA targets to elevate the rice sufficiency in the country to 93 percent in 2021, but it could go down to about about 89 to 90 percent due to the damages to agriculture left by the three typhoons.

The DA chief said that the Philippines will have to import rice in order to fill up the 10 to 11 percent gap.

So warned DA from bringing up importation since it could ‘press down’ rice prices.

Once na nag-announce sila na iniisip nila mag-import, talagang ma-prepress down yung presyo ng palay at hindi tataas iyan. So dapat yung mga statement na ganoon, huwag munang gumawa ng statement,” So said.

So said that the government should think about how to help local farmers for the harvest season rather than importing rice.

Based on the records of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses left more than Php 10.5 billion worth of damages to agriculture across the Philippines.

Dar assured that the country still has 82-days worth of rice inventory.

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