Byline: MARVYN N. BENANING
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has assured the public of a stable supply of rice, vegetables, chicken, and other basic food items this Christmas despite the dry spell that ravaged Luzon recently.
"We continue to put in place a variety of measures to help ensure enough stocks of rice, chicken, meat, vegetables, and other basic food items at affordable prices on family tables between now and the year-end," Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap said.
Yap added the National Food Authority (NFA) has already accounted for the supply of rice for the rest of the year and has already ascertained that there will be enough buffer stock for this staple until the year-end.
Due to the dry spell, the lean months of July to September for planting palay stretched up to October, which means that the main harvest for the wet cropping season will start in November.
"We have no problem when it comes to the supply of rice this December," said Yap in a news forum. "As we move towards October, November, December, our palay harvests will come in."
As for the supply of chicken, Yap said that poultry growers have assured him during a recent meeting of poultry stakeholders that they have loaded enough chicken for Christmas.
He said that because the poultry sector is recovering from the dry spell, growers will have to import some three million kilos of chicken to ensure a sufficient supply of the commodity during the holidays.
Pork will be in abundant supply this season, Yap said, as the recent outbreak of hog cholera in Bulacan had no impact on the supply of the meat in the country because the disease was quickly contained and confined only to a small portion of hog farms in the province. …