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NFA assures stable rice supply despite 'Lando' onslaught

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines - The National Food Authority (NFA) on Sunday assured that the country's rice supply will remain stable until the end of the year despite the damage caused by Typhoon Lando.

NFA Administrator Renan Dalisay said in an interview with radio dzMM that farmers were able to harvest their crops before the typhoon struck.

"Mabuti na lang po, bago pa po tumama ito, marami na rin pong nakapag-ani. At ang National Food Authority po, marami na ring nabili bago pa po tumama 'yung bagyong Lando," Dalisay said.

An estimated 400,000 metric tons of rice were destroyed by Lando in Regions 1, 2, 3 and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

The NFA earlier imported additional rice supply as preparation against the El Niño phenomenon, which induces the dry spell in the country.

The agency is set to meet with the Food Security Committee on Thursday to discuss the need to import additional rice, according to radio dzMM.

"Pag-uusapan po namin kung kakailanganin tayong mag-angkat ng taon na ito. Pero tulad nga po ng nasabi ko kanina, dahil nakapaghanda po tayo doon sa El Niño at isinama na rin natin sa paghahanda natin ang malalakas na bagyo na tumatama sa last quarter ng year, nagpaghadaan na rin po natin ito kaya naglagay rin po tayo ng allowance para sa mga bagyo," Dalisay said.

Dalisay added that certain agencies might oppose to import additional rice.

The NFA official added that they determined to negotiate with the Department of Budget and Management to procure storm-damaged rice for the benefit of farmers.

"Sa pamamagitan po nito, maibalik man lang 'yung perang ginamit nila sa pagtatanim para sa ganoon, makapagtanim sila agad," the NFA chief said.

According to Dalisay, the NFA may purchase storm-damaged rice as long as the grains do not exceed 30 percent moisture content.

Lando left P9.8 billion worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure. The agriculture sector was the hardest hit, with an estimated amount of P8.6 billion damaged crops.

ADMINISTRATOR RENAN DALISAY

ATILDE

CORDILLERA ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

DALISAY

DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT

EL NI

FOOD SECURITY COMMITTEE

LANDO

NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY

QUOT

RICE

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