The Department of Agriculture (DA) has ordered regional field units to prepare necessary assistance to farmers affected by Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan).
“As there are palay crops located along the typhoon’s projected path that have yet to be harvested, RFUs to provide farmers with combined harvesters and dryers to make the process faster and more efficient,” DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said.
Alcala noted that one of the areas of concern was Oriental Mindoro, situated directly to the path of the typhoon.
“As you can see, [Oriental] Mindoro is one of our major supplier of rice here in Manila. Many of the farmers have already harvested their crops, but reports showed that their harvest season will be up to end of November. So this really concerns me,” he said.
The DA, through its field operations service, is keenly monitoring the weather condition and stands by ready to carry out urgent interventions, if necessary, Alcala said.
The DA chief also asked the NFA to keep its warehouses in possible affected areas well stocked to guarantee stable supply of affordable rice.
“NFA should be should on standby if ever we need to deliver additional rice supply in typhoon-battered areas,” he said.
He also said that the grains agency should be ready to buy palay – even those with higher moisture content – in the provinces as part of the government’s efforts to help farmers affected by the super typhoon.
This aggressive palay buying, Alcala said, would help farmers that will be affected by the typhoon to recoup their investments and lessen the impact of the calamity, as well as help them rehabilitate their farms and reconstruct their livelihood. JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ