Enough rice supply until February despite 'Paeng' — agri group

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 4) — There is enough rice supply to last until February next year despite the damage to agriculture due to storm Paeng, according to the agriculture group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG).

SINAG Chair Rosendo So said Paeng's impact was mostly felt in Southern Luzon and Visayas but was not as hard in Northern Luzon.

"Ang tingin naman natin, ang stocks natin ng bigas kaya pa rin hanggang February," So told CNN Philippines' The Exchange.

[Translation: We think rice stocks can still last until February.]

So said only 10% of the total rice harvest was affected by the storm.

Paeng's damage to agriculture is at ₱2.86 billion, according to the latest Department of Agriculture report. 

Rice is the hardest hit commodity with damage worth ₱1.78 billion. It was followed by high-value crops at ₱557.2 million, fisheries at ₱201.73 million, corn at ₱135.4 million, and livestock and poultry at ₱36.3 million.

Despite this report, So said he sees no looming shortage of rice, meat, poultry, and vegetables.

"Yung galing sa Southern Luzon, Quezon area, Batangas area, medyo naapektado sa typhoon na ito. Pero yung northern part naman, yung Pangasinan, Nueva Ejica, going north, okay pa naman yung mga vegetables natin," So said.

[Translation: Products from Southern Luzon, Quezon area, Batangas area were affected by this typhoon. But the northern part, Pangasinan, Nueva Ejica, going north, the vegetables there are okay.]

The SINAG chief said the group hopes the transport of crops and goods to Metro Manila remains smooth so that prices would be more stable.