The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) has assured Antique residents of having enough rice supply for the next two to three months despite the enhanced community quarantine.
OPA chief Nicolasito “Nick” Calawag said in an interview Tuesday that the province being rice self-sufficient has enough supply for the consumption of the people.
“In fact, there is now an ongoing harvest for third cropping in the province,” Calawag said.
He said only last February, farmers, who were able to plant early last December, were able to harvest from their about 10,000 hectares of rice land in the province.
“In the province, we have 43,000 hectares of rice lands,” he said.
He said of the 43,000 hectares of rice lands, there are about 20,000 hectares irrigated rice lands where farmers are able to harvest three times a year.
“A farmer is able to harvest an average of 3.6 tons of palay per hectare,” he said.
He also said the province harvests 240 metric tons of rice per year, which is more than enough for the needed rice consumption of the 100,000 population.
“The rice consumption of each Antiqueño is about 120 kilograms per year,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Food Authority in Antique based on its latest data provided to Philippine News Agency (PNA) has a buffer stock of 95,601 bags of palay and 31,876 bags of rice.
The buffer stock could last for the next 17 days.
For fish, Calawag said that it is sufficient especially that fishermen are able to catch plenty of tuna and other species. “Antique is, in fact, supplying fish to Iloilo and Aklan provinces,” he said.
With the border restriction, however, the fishermen and the middlemen are having a hard time in transporting the freshly caught fishes to the adjacent municipalities.
“Antique has no storage facility as of now so it could not preserve the fishes,” he said. (PNA)