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Food supply enough, DA assures

DAR (FB photo)

DAR (FB photo)

The Department of Agriculture has urged the public not to resort to panic-buying and assured that there is enough supply of food for residents in Metro Manila amid the one-month community quarantine to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus disease-2019 outbreak in the country.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar called on the public to buy only their daily or weekly food requirements and refrain from “overstocking” or “panic buying” to avoid an artificial shortage of supplies in the market.

“We will ensure the sufficient and continuous supply of basic necessities and perishable commodities, and make these available in public markets, and DA-initiated KADIWA stores for the benefit of all family households, particularly in depressed communities,” the DA chief said.

According to Dar, the current inventory of rice, a basic staple in the country, at various National Food Authority warehouses nationwide is good for at least 80 days.

Dar added that the supply of rice will be further augmented by the incoming harvest this dry season, providing additional stocks for another two to three months.

“Together with the rice stocks held by the private sector and households, we will have a 35-week rice supply, which means this is good for at least nine months,” he assured.

“To ensure readily available and affordable supply of other basic food commodities, we have gathered initial commitments from the private sector and DA regional offices to sufficiently supply the needs of Metro Manila residents, under our Food Resiliency Action Plan,” the DA chief added.

According to Dar, this plan includes strategic positioning and efficient distribution of basic food commodities such as rice, pork, chicken, eggs, other poultry products, fish, vegetables, fruits, sugar, cooking oil, and other coconut by-products, as well as monitoring of suggested retail prices of these items in public markets in Metro Manila.

The food resiliency action plan, Dar said, will be further expanded and updated in partnership with the private industry, local government units, and farmers’ and fishers’ groups.

The Agriculture chief urged Metro Manila residents to consider engaging in food production through urban gardening or aquaculture in their homes, and designated areas in the community. (Ellalyn V. Ruiz)

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