COVID-19

Ease up lockdowns in Covid-free Mindanao areas

Planting Season is here!

As rains start to fall in many parts of Mindanao, MinDA chair Manny Piñol said it is a good indication that the planting season has begun early for at least two of the major crops of the island – rice and corn.

DAVAO CITY: Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has called on areas in Mindanao with no registered cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to ease their lockdown measures and prepare for the planting season.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Piñol said the strict total lockdown enforced by many local government units in Mindanao has become “ridiculous” and could jeopardize the island’s food production activities.

“Within provinces, even those without reports of probable and suspected Covid-19 cases, neighboring barangays and towns enforce local lockdowns, effectively preventing people from doing anything,” he said.

Piñol said the situation has virtually paralyzed food production and economic activities, making almost everybody dependent on food rations and cash aid.

“The problem is if the Covid-19 pandemic does not let up in some parts of the country and the economic paralysis continues, the government may not be able to sustain the assistance program,” he said.

As rains start to fall in many parts of Mindanao, Piñol said it is a good indication that the planting season has begun early for at least two of the major crops of the island – rice and corn.

“We hope that the recommendation of MinDA on the preparation of the rainy season will be addressed by the relevant agencies. Because if there are no prepared seeds and other farm inputs, this rain will just be a waste,” he said.

Piñol noted that planting rice and corn by the end of April and May would ensure harvest by August and sustain food supplies well into the lean months.

“It could help address a feared rice supply shortage, resulting from the decision of major rice exporting countries to hold on to their stocks,” he said.
Every Mindanao province that decides to resume normal activities where people could go back to farming and fishing would mean additional assurance of sufficient food supply for the country, Piñol said.

“Also, it would mean one province was taken off the list of food and cash-aid dependent areas and one less headache for President Rody Duterte,” he added. With (PNA/RSP)

Categories: COVID-19, MinDA

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