By Anna Leah Gonzales
MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has assured the country will have enough rice supply for the rest of the year despite the possible effects of El Niño.
Based on the rice production outlook data provided by the Department of Agriculture (DA), the total supply of rice is estimated to be at 9.109 million metric tons (MT) for the first half of the year.
This consists of 1.850 million MT beginning stock, 5.197 million MT local production, and 2.062 million MT imports.
Total demand, meanwhile, is estimated to reach 6.990 million MT.
Data showed that the ending stock in the first half is estimated at 2.119 million metric tons, which is good for 57 days.
“That does not include the rice production in July, August, and the rest of the year. It also does not include import arrivals after June,” DA Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian told the Philippine News Agency Sunday.
“Hence, if you add those two data, we will have enough rice supply for the year plus ending supply into 2024,” he said.
Sebastian said the production estimate for the first semester was based on the Philippine Rice Information System (PRiSM)-remote sensing.
“For the first semester, we based our current production estimate using PRiSM-remote sensing, and made a conservative production estimate of (the) same level as last year. We expect though that our production will be higher this year because of the good sunny weather we have experienced during the cropping period,” he added.
Sebastian assured that several measures are being prepared to mitigate the impact of El Niño.
These include adjustments of planting calendar, repair of irrigation canals, and provision of water pumps. (PNA)