Kalibo, Aklan -- Rice stocks of Aklanon households are up to September 2010 only, but according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) here, farmers will also start harvesting rice in September, peaking in October.
BAS-Aklan Provincial Officer Manuelito Deligencia said rice planting in Aklan was delayed due to the El Niño Phenomenon that struck Aklan last year until the early part of 2010.
"Farmers in rainfed areas were not able to plant rice in June due to insufficient water, while planting in irrigated fields was also delayed because irrigation canals had no water yet in the early part of planting season, being dependent only on the availability of water from the Aklan River," Delegencia said.
Delegencia said farmers from Balete and Libacao were also able to harvest upland rice last July but this was only for their own consumption.
Just recently, the National Food Authority (NFA) here through Provincial Manager Marianito Bejemino assured the public of enough rice up to the harvest period in October.
The NFA also revealed that monthly, some 20,000 bags of rice each month is sent to Aklan from NFA-Iloilo to augment the supply of rice in the province.
Commercial rice also enters Aklan daily from Mindoro and other provinces through the RORO, and from Antique, Capiz and Iloilo to add to the supply of the private traders in the province.
Meanwhile, BAS revealed that Aklan enjoyed a good harvest of vegetables and fruits from the months of April to June.
"Our bananas have recovered from Typhoon Frank already," Delegencia said.
Marine, aquaculture and commercial fishery products also increased during the same period, however, harvests in rootcrops like camote, cassava and gabi decreased due to the El Niño.
Ginger crops also suffered, according to BAS, because of the heavy rains these recent months. Ginger, Delegencia said, takes a year to be harvested.
BAS-Aklan is currently updating data of farmers in the province and performing their other routinary activities. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)