DA: El Niño may impact rice supply in Q2 2024

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 26) —The Philippines may experience the impact of El Niño on rice supply starting the second quarter of next year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

“Iyong impact natin na tinitingnan will be by second quarter kasi nga ang forecast natin for the El Niño is itong dry season nag-ii-start na, it will end March next year meaning planting na ngayon nag-start na ‘yung ibang areas most probably magha-harvest na sila by January, February,” DA's Director of Field Operations Service U-Nichols Manalo said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

[Translation: The impact that we are expecting will be by the second quarter because we have now forecast the start of El Niño in the dry season. It will end in March next year, which means that the planting is currently starting and the other areas will probably harvest in January to February.]

The DA said if rainfall in a normal month went below average, the supply for water in irrigation sites may be compromised.

"But tingnan muna natin din ‘yung months pagpasok ng January Luzon areas natin especially Northern Luzon ito na rin ‘yung parang pa-summer season so historically dry siya so ‘yung crops diyan being grown mangga, sibuyas, bawang, tabaco kapag nando'n siya sa period na flowering vegetative na ‘pag nabasa siya ng ulan nababad ng water nasisira siya so ibig sabihin ‘yung climate na medyo pa-dry favorable sa areas na ‘yun," Manalo said.

[Translation: But let us see in the coming months of January in Luzon areas, especially Northern Luzon, where the summer season is coming because historically the crops are dry there, like the mangoes, onions, tobaccos, and other flowering vegetative, it can be destroyed when it’s long soaked in water. That means that the dry season favors some areas.]

The agency also cited the National Irrigation Administration’s (NIA) initial report about the possibility of scarcity in water supply in 122 hectares of farmland.

Based on the DA's record, rice and corn may be the most impacted crops.

To solve this, Romualdez earlier said that the House of Representatives will move to give the NIA an additional funding of ₱40 billion.

"Iyong areas na nagtatanim pa ng rice pero magkakaroon ng kakulangan ang isang strategy is to offer drought-resistant or variety at least na nagta-thrive sa mga kulang na tubig na area may available na almost 38 BPI-registered rice seed varieties," Manalo said.

[Those areas which may lack water supply but will plant rice, our strategy is to offer them drought-resistant or variety, those areas which will thrive, we still have an available of almost 38 Bureau of Plant Industry-registered rice seed varieties.]

However, Manalo assured that those who cannot really plant due to water scarcity, will be enrolled in an assisting agency or program such as the DSWD and the DOLE.

CNN Philippines’ correspondent Currie Cator contributed to this story.