AGGIE CHIEF DAR: ‘Don’t panic, we have enough food’
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has assured the public that there is enough food in public markets and through outlets of DA-initiated “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita,” and “FishDA on the Go” as some areas in Metro Manila are placed under community quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We call on the general public to buy only their daily or weekly food requirements and refrain from overstocking or panic buying,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement on Friday.
“We at the Department of Agriculture will ensure the sufficient and continuous supply of basic necessities and perishable commodities, and make these available in public markets, and Kadiwa stores for the benefit of all family households, particularly in depressed communities,” he added.
He said he current inventory of rice at various National Food Authority (NFA) warehouses nationwide is good for at least 80 days.
“It will be further augmented by the incoming palay harvest this current dry season, providing additional stocks for another two to three months,” Dar said, noting that rice stocks held by private sector and households would be good for nine months.
Under the Food Resiliency Action Plan, Dar said the DA has gathered the initial commitments of the private sector and DA regional offices to amply supply the needs of Metro Manila residents.
He said the plan includes the strategic positioning and efficient distribution of basic food commodities, including the monitoring of suggested retail prices of the same in public markets in Metro Manila.
Other than rice, the other basic food items include pork, chicken, eggs, other poultry products, fish, vegetables, fruits, sugar, cooking oil, and other coconut by-products.
The action plan will be further expanded and updated in partnership with the private industry, local government units, and farmers’ and fishers’ groups.
Dar said this is also an opportune time for Metro Manilans to consider engaging in food production via urban gardening or aquaculture in their respective backyards, verandas, rooftops, and designated areas in the barangay, school or community. (PR)