SDC Head: Ilocos Norte is problem-free on food security


Jun. 04, 2020 ...

Ilocos Norte has a sufficient supply of rice and other high-value crops (HVC) despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the coming rainy season, declared Mr. Edwin Cariño, Sustainable Development Center (SDC) Head.

"We are 283% self-sufficient in terms of rice while in vegetables we are almost self-sufficient. Masasabi natin na wala tayong masyadong problema sa food security."

According to SDC's calculation, Ilocos Norte has still five months-worth of rice supply.

Meanwhile, SDC and the Office of the Provincial Agriculture have devised a project to maintain food security in the current situation of the province.

"Dahil sa COVID-19 pandemic at mga paparating na bagyo, naghanda ang Provincial Government sa pamumuno ni Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc ang pamimigay ng hybrid at inbred rice seedlings para sa 3,000 hectares [farmlands] dito sa probinsyaAng package na ito ay may kasama ng humus at fertilizer," Mr. Cariño said.

Approximately 5,000 "early planters" are recipients of the rice package.

"Kung makakaani tayo ng palay in about three to four months, at least madadagdagan ang food security dito sa probinsya. Ang proyekto na ito ay para sa mga early planters. Kung magtatanim sila ngayong June, mag-aani sila sa September," he added.

Likewise, the two departments have also collaborated in the distribution of HVC vegetable seeds to various farmers associations. This is to take advantage of the increased plant-based consumption of the public amidst the pandemic.

"Ang priority natin ay ang matulungan ang mga magsasaka na magkaroon ng alternative produce aside from palay. Itong HVC ang pinakamadaling anihin at pagkakitaan."

The vegetable package includes HVC seeds, fertilizer, hose, and water pump.

Mr. Cariño further explained that Governor Manotoc and Senator Imee R. Marcos are eyeing to provide vegetable supply and other food items in the Kadiwa Express Program in the National Capital Region to augment local produce in the area.

At present, SDC is supervising the construction and rehabilitation of small farm reservoirs in "critical locations" for vegetable production in the first and second districts of the province.

Photo taken last September 18, 2019