Featured News

NFA bent on securing rice stocks despite competition with traders

10 April 2024

MANILA – The National Food Authority (NFA) expressed confidence on Tuesday in securing the country's rice buffer stock despite local competition with traders.

In an interview, NFA administrator officer-in-charge Larry Lacson said there is no need to worry considering the high productivity of rice amid the peak harvest season.

“Confident tayo na madadagdagan pa iyong ating stocks. Makakahabol pa tayo sa harvest season na ito (We are confident that we will increase our stocks. We will be able to catch up this harvest season),” he said.

The NFA needs to secure around 300,000 metric tons (MT) of rice for its nine-day minimum national rice buffer stock, using the buying price set at PHP19/kg for wet palay (unhusked rice) and PHP23/kg for dry palay.

Meanwhile, competitive traders are buying palay at a price range of PHP25 to PHP27/kg.

“Nag-increase naman ang nabili namin. Dati 5 percent accomplishment lang, ngayon naging 6.48 percent (The procured [volume] increased. Before it's only 5 percent accomplishment, now it has reached 6.48 percent)," Lacson said, citing the first quarter volume purchase.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) earlier projected around 1.1 percent increase in rice productivity, equivalent to a total production of 4.78 MT for the dry season.

Possible measures

Lacson, meanwhile, assured that the NFA is exploring other options to effectively play with traders.

"May mga measures kaming ikinakasa so we can reach or at least lumapit sa target natin (We are rolling out measures so we can reach or get near our targets). We are hoping that within this week, we can come up with that," he said.

Lacson also mentioned an increase in the buying price, which shall further benefit local farmers.

"That’s a possibility. Pero marami iyan ha, hindi lang isang solusyon para sa isang problema, marami (But we have many [options], not one solution per problem, multiple [considerations])," Lacson said.

"I can’t detail it kasi sa totoo lang (because realistically) whether we like it or not, minomonitor din lahat ng ating actions. Kasi at the end of the day, nasa market tayo pare-pareho (our actions are being monitored. Because at the end of the day, we are all in the same market),” he added.

He clarified that the closure of several warehouses in the country has minimal effect on the procurement struggles of the NFA.

The closure was implemented amid the ongoing probe into the alleged irregularity in the sale of NFA rice buffer stocks. (PNA)

Source : pna