Agriculture dept eyes 'urban agriculture' to augment food supply

April Rafales, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2020 10:33 PM

MANILA—The Philippines has enough food supply to last until June but measures are being studied in anticipation of changes in the export of goods in a “new normal” situation or after the COVID-19 pandemic is contained, an agriculture official said Thursday.

One such measure is urban agriculture or the “plant, plant, plant” campaign, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a press briefing.

Other countries will likely become stricter when it comes to exporting food products to sustain their own needs, he said.

“May mga countries na mas magiging maigting sa exportation ng products nila. There will be countries who will first secure their food,” he said.

“Ang urban agriculture ay isa sa mga proyekto ng DA na layong solusyonan ang kakulangan ng pagkain sa mga komunidad . . . Hinihikayat natin ang mga mamamayan lalo na ang mga nakatira sa lungsod na magtanim at mag-alaga ng hayop sa kanilang bakuran,” Dar said.

Vegetable seedlings are distributed in Metro Manila and will likely expand to other major cities, Dar said. Some 548,750 individuals, households and local government units have received seeds and seedlings, he said.

The country has supply of basic food and agricultural products until end of June including rice for 84 days, corn for 147 days, vegetables for 28 days, fish for 12 days, pork for 8 days, chicken for 111 days and garlic, onions for 21 days, Dar said.

The government earlier assured the public that transport of goods between Metro Manila and neighboring provinces would not be hampered during the enhanced community quarantine period set to end on April 30.