DA says meat supply sufficient; output of rice considered ‘high’

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Thursday that the supply of rice and meat products is sufficient for the Philippines’ needs, with production of rice in particular seen as “high.”

“According to the National Rice Program, our production plus the imports and the beginning stock (is) sufficient,” DA Spokesperson Kristine Y. Evangelista said at a Laging Handa briefing.

“As far as our National Rice Program is concerned, production is high. That is good news; at least we have more local production. We still have imports to augment supply, but the bottom line is, we are sufficient,” she added.

On Tuesday, Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio S. Sebastian said rice output rose 6% in the six months to June.

Citing the Philippine Rice Information System, he said production of palay, or unmilled rice, was estimated at 8.605 million metric tons (MT), up from the 8.153 million MT recorded a year earlier.

The carry over stock of rice at the start of the year was 1.8 million MT, augmented by the arrival of 1.8 million MT more in imports, sufficient to meet demand for more than two months.

Ms. Evangelista added: “Right now, our pork meat (supply) is sufficient… On a monthly basis, we have a watch on price and volume to gauge the supply situation,” she said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera