The Department of Agriculture (DA) assures all Filipino families that there is enough food for everyone that is accessible in public markets and through outlets of DA-initiated “KADIWA ni Ani at Kita” 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,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
“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,” the DA chief added.
“For our basic staple, rice, the current inventory at various NFA warehouses nationwide is good for at least 80 days, and it will be further augmented by the incoming palay harvest this current dry season, providing additional stocks for another two to three months,” the DA chief said.
“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,” Secretary Dar said.
“Further, 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,” he added.
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 food resiliency action plan will be further expanded and updated in partnership with the private industry, local government units, and farmers’ and fishers’ groups. The agri chief 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.