IATF decision to include sugar in relief goods beneficial to WV sugarcane farmers, industry

(Photo Courtesy of Partido Manggagawa)

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) had recently approved the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) recommendation to include sugar in the relief goods given by the Local Government Units (LGUs) as a way of helping the sugarcane farmers and the entire industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was announced in the latest online press briefing of IATF Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

DA Western Visayas Regional Executive Director Remelyn Recoter said that this initiative of Secretary William Dar is beneficial to the region being the major producer of sugarcane in the country.

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed that Western Visayas accounted for 4.19 million metric tons, or 81.8%, of sugar production in the region in the last quarter of 2019.

Northern Mindanao and Central Visayas contributed only 8.2% and 5.8%, respectively.

About 99.1% of the sugarcane production are processed into centrifugal sugar, while the rest are for ethanol, muscovado sugar and vinegar.

“The IATF decision will definitely increase the domestic demand by about 360,000 bags at 50 kilograms per bag for a one time – one kilogram sugar inclusion in the food packs of 18 million households,” Recoter said.

Aside from the distribution of cash aids to low income Filipino households through Social Amelioration Program, the government has alternately included fresh agri-fishery products in their food packs other than the usual rice, noodles, and sardines.

“This new development in the provision of food packs greatly helped the farmers, fishers and livestock raisers,” she added. (DA/RAFIS-6)