Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala assures the public that the country will expect a bigger rice production this year as the Department of Agriculture (DA) intensifies efforts to repair irrigation systems.
“This will help us expand areas planted to the staple,” Alcala stressed during the press conference at the year-end Philippine Economic Briefing on February 9, 2011 at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City.
“Also, I have been going around the country and I saw that the standing rice crops are in very good condition, and so I believe we will only import minimal volume of rice this year,” he said.
The DA Secretary added that the government is planning to establish seed banks in every province of the country to ensure steady supply of certified seeds among farmers. In an earlier statement Alcala explained that the seed banks are strategies to battle extreme weather conditions such as typhoons and drought.
Aside from this, Alcala said that the DA will aggressively promote the production of white corn to ease the demand on rice. He reiterated that 14 million Filipinos are eating corn grits, but are forced to eat rice instead because of the shortage in white corn.-30- (Oda Rodriguez/DA Information Service)