Dar: DA ready to handle 'looming' food crisis

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 18) — Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the department is ready to face a "looming" food crisis, stressing there is a "directional plan to handle these big challenges."

"Ano ho ang parte ng plano? Itong plano na ito is to consider three stages: iyong rebooting Philippine agriculture towards recovery and growth, iyong resilient, and sustainable agriculture, iyon po ang nilalaman ng National Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization and Industrialization (Plan)," Dar said on Wednesday.

"So, ibig sabihin, (kung) dumating man talaga ang krisis na ito, food crisis, ay nakahanda tayo."

[Translation: The plan has to consider three stages — rebooting Philippine Agriculture towards recovery ang growth, resilient, and sustainable agriculture — that's what's in the National Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization and Industrialization. So, should the food crisis come, we are ready.]

Dar also asked all Filipinos to do their part in ensuring a stable food supply even before the food crisis hits.

"Kung puwede ay magtanim tayong lahat, mag-alaga (ng hayop) at mangisda. Kasi kagaya dito sa urban areas, kung may paraan na madadagdagan natin iyong mga production ng ating mga magsasaka at mga mangingisda ay we also have to do it, tayong mga mamamayan, mga 'plantito/plantita," he said.

[Translation: If possible, everyone should plant, take care of animals and fish. In urban areas, for example, if there are ways to add to the production of farmers and fishermen, we also have to do it.]

Dar added the country has sufficient food supply now — and this should be sustained.

When asked when the crisis is expected, Dar said the projection is sometime this year.

"Ang titingnan natin ay itong second semester of the year. Nakikita na ninyo iyong pagtaas ng presyo ng mga inputs, kakaunti ang mabibili sa global market and so, advance dapat ang planning then and that's why tayo ay nagwa-warning at gumagawa rin ng paraan para makapaghanda tayo, maisagawa natin lahat itong plano," he said.

[Translation: What we are looking at is the second semester of the year. We are seeing the increase of prices and there are fewer products available in the global market and so we should plan in advance as well as give out warnings and make the effort to prepare.]