Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar said the Philippines is expected to import more rice in 2021 to compensate for the supplies damaged by the typhoons in the agriculture.
Dar said DA is aiming to increase the country’s rice sufficiency to 93%. However, with the typhoons’ damage to agriculture, he said it could decrease to 90% or 80%.
“If we’re able to meet that target, then we only have to import 7% of our total rice consumption. With the typhoon damages now, that could go down to bring us back to almost 89% to 90%,” he said.
“We have yet to now bring in 10% of our total rice consumption,” he added.
The DA chief noted that it is “a given” to import rice if the Philippines could not produce its total consumption.
“When you are only able to produce 90% percent of your requirement sa rice, then, you always have to import the rest of that from other countries… Yes, that’s a given,” he said.
According to the DA-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Operations Center’s 8 am bulletin, the total damage caused by the typhoon has climbed to P3.84 billion as of November 18. The typhoon affected 104,733 farmers and fisherfolk’s livelihood and damaged 101,904 hectares of agricultural areas with a volume of production loss at 160,873 metric tons.
The total cost of damage is P1.93 billion for the rice sector alone, affecting 68,374 hectares of land with a volume of production loss at 120,015 metric tons.
PH to import more rice in 2021 due to typhoon damages – DA
Ulysses also affected irrigation and agricultural infrastructures in Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and Bicol Region. Commodities include rice, corn, high-value crops, fisheries, livestock were also damaged.
The DA assured affected farmers and fishers that they could avail of the following assistance:
- Rice, corn, and assorted vegetable seed reserves from DA RFOs
- Drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry
- Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program of Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC)
- Indemnification fund from Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to pay for the losses incurred
“We still have 1.2 million hectares of rice needing development of national irrigation systems. Without that, I cannot see happening na ma-produce lahat ng pagkain natin,” he said.