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Banana plantation expansion poses threat to food security

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Banana plantation expansion poses threat to food security in Davao Norte

The fast expansion of banana plantations in Davao del Norte is seen as a threat to food security in the province.

Provincial agriculture chief Dominador Encarnacion feared that local rice production will not be enough to feed Davao del Norte's population which counts to almost a million.

"What if we would no longer import rice?" he asked as he projected that the estimated production of five tons per hectare of rice will eventually run short for one million residents.

The Year 2005 Annual Report from the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) bared a decrease in area coverage of rice and corn production "due to conversion of some areas to banana plantations."

The report showed a total rice production in 2005 was calculated at 173,851 metric tons, showing a difference of 25,235 metric tons or a 12.67 percent decrease from 199,087 metric tons recorded in 2004.

"This decrease can be attributed to the reduction of rice areas during the period from 45,766.35 hectares in 2004 to 41,128.21 hectares in 2005. But contrary to what was feared, PPDO computed the rice sufficiency level at 101.90 percent," Encarnacion said.

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