(RICHARD CORTEZ / Photoville International)
The Department of Agriculture reiterated that there is no need for rice importation for now. Prism satellite data has confirmed a higher rice harvest in 1st quarter of 2017.
Agriculture secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the country’s total production of rice has increased by more than 200,000 metric tons compared with same period last year.
It also surpassed the average yield per hectare of 3.9 metric tons to a record breaking 4.15 metric tons.
Provinces in Central Luzon are noted as the highest producers.
Piñol attributed the increase in production to the farmers’ technique of using high breed rice.
“I don’t believe that we should import at this point in time. Because if we do that now, it will cause a slump in the prices of palay to the detriment of our farmers,” he said.
Piñol said, the harvest could have been higher if the Bicol region had not been devastated by tropical cyclone Nina last December 2016.
He added that instead of importing rice, the National Food Authority (NFA) should buy local produce if the agency needs to increase its buffer stock. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue