Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said today, Thursday/March 30, that he sees a bumper harvest of rice this season based on his visual appreciation of farm areas he visited at the start of the year.
“Of course, this will still have to be validated by PRISM (Philippine Rice Information System). But the way I see it, i am upbeat that we will have a bumper harvest this year considering that we didn’t have any major typhoon, no rat infestation or outbreak of diseases,” he said.
Piñol’s optimism stems from his recent visits to Central Mindanao, Iloilo, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Quezon and Bicol as well as favorable reports from Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley. The only area that yielded negative report he said is Eastern Samar which almost always bear the brunt of incoming typhoons.
Piñol said that he will present the PRISM data to the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries once he gets hold of it to determine the amount of additional importation we will have for the year.
“At the moment there is no need. We will have to confirm first from the PRISM report,” he said of the prospect of rice importation. “It should validate my visual appreciation first.”
As to the livestock industry situation, the Agriculture Secretary likewise said there is nothing to worry, saying there is ample supply of chicken and beef products notwithstanding the ban on chicken imports from some countries with bird flu infestation.
He allayed fears that prices, particularly of chicken, could skyrocket due the effects of soaring temperatures on livestock, pointing out that the summer season is but part of the agricultural cycle.
“I don’t see any crisis at the moment. I cannot even lift the ban on chicken imports as I don’t want to go against the interest of the Filipino farmers and endanger the whole poultry industry,” he said. (DA-OSEC)