NFA ASSURES ENOUGH RICE SUPPLY
By: James Earl E. Ogatis
NFA Iloilo Provincial Manager Erna Abello explains their El Niño mitigation programs and interventions to the farmer leaders, barangay captains and kagawads during the conduct of Agricultural Information Caravan on El Niño in the municipality of Cabatuan, Iloilo recently. (MSSubang/DA-RAFIS 6 photo).
“We have enough supply of rice here in Iloilo despite of the occurrence of El Niño phenomenon in the province.” assured NFA Provincial Manager Erna Abello.
Abello who was one of the panelists during the conduct of agricultural information caravan on El Niño at Cabatuan, Iloilo said that NFA has a total buffer stock good for 121 days equivalent to 2,591,092 bags.
“We are encouraging farmers to avail of our support price of Php 17.40 per kilo for clean and dry rice delivered to NFA warehouses.” said Abello.
According to Abello, “despite of our local produce, the province has an allocation of 240,000 bags of imported rice from Thailand as part of our contingency measures for El Niño and other natural calamities. The first shipment containing 120,000 bags has just arrived and the remaining rice import will arrive on March 3, 2016. This will be distributed to NFA accredited rice retailers all over the province of Iloilo,” added Abello.
Meanwhile, Glenn Carbon Insurance Underwriter II of the Philippines Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) encouraged farmers affected by El Niño to report their farm damage to the office of their Municipal Agriculturist or directly to PCIC 20 days before harvest.
Carbon emphasized that PCIC underwriters will make assessment of all reported damages and recommend insurance claim for processing and payment to the affected farmers. The damages reported beyond 20 days and farmers who are not listed in the masterlist of farmers under the RSBSA program will not be eligible for insurance claims.
DA 6 banner program focal persons also explained the El Niño interventions such as buffer stocking of rice, corn and vegetable seeds, vitamins and drugs and biologics for livestock, pump and engine sets, rehabilitation of small farm reservoir and small diversion dams and continuing advocacy of water conservation.
Also present during the caravan were representative from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) 6 who explained the mitigation programs and priorities of the agency this CY 2016.
Around 200 participants composed of farmer leaders, barangay officials and livestock raisers attended the agricultural information caravan on El Niño./MP