By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. yesterday assured the public the supply of rice in Negros Occidental is sufficient, amid reports of rice shortages in some parts of the country.
“Why would the residents panic?” he asked. “We have a lot of rice.”
Marañon said local production has increased exponentially, with some farmers reportedly producing seven tons per hectare, above the national average of 4.2 tons per hectare.
He pointed out, production was not affected despite problems such as the grain bugs and recent heavy rains.
In addition, Marañon said he wants to make Negros Occidental a major rice exporter, noting the province is currently an exporter of Japanese rice and organic rice.
“We have already started exporting high-quality Japanese rice to restaurants in Metro Manila,” Marañon said.
The governor added, he is considering making the province rice self-sufficient, alleviating the need to import rice in the future./DGB, WDJ