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Hasten food production to survive Covid-19: DAR 7

DIRECTOR Salvador “Salva” Diputado of the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 said that Secretary William Dar has ordered the acceleration of food production program so we can survive the damage caused by Corona Virus Disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Diputado told Cebu Business Week that while there are threats to food production like the African Swine Fever (ASF) and bad weather, DA is determined to make the country self-sufficient soon.

He said that there is abundant water in several agricultural areas in Central Visayas. But in agricultural cycle, there are times that rainwater is not needed by farmers.

“If at times that you are harvesting “palay” and other crops, we need sunny days to avoid damages to our produce,” Diputado said.

He said that the situation of water dams for irrigation is good and has abundant supply for planting.

On the other hand, Diputado said that the high price of pork in Manila and in Cebu is caused by low supply and high demand.

“The problem of ASF in Luzon was not yet solved. Even the authorities in Bicol Region reported that the ASF has spread in the area. In Region 8, eight towns in Leyte were hit by ASF and we cannot control it,” Diputado said.

He said that even DAR has requested to hog raisers in areas not affected by ASF that those who have surplus pork may help provide supply to Metro Manila.

He added that in their price monitoring on pork, there is a little increase but not considered as alarming because sometimes the price went down. And the prices of pork in the different markets are the same.

“We can see in our monitoring that the prices of pork in Central Visayas are within the range,” Diputado said.

Businessman Philip Tan said that before Covid-19 hit the country last year, pork was sold in the market at P210 per kilo, At present, the pork price is more than P300 per kilo. ELIAS O. BAQUERO