There’s enough rice supply - NFA


National Food Authority Administrator Jason Aquino assured the public of enough NFA rice available through the agency’s accredited rice outlets nationwide.

Aquino issued this reassurance in the wake of reported spike in prices of commercial rice in the market particularly in Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR).

“For November, a total of 394,308 bags of rice were already distributed in our 1,630 NFA-accredited outlets in NCR. We will continue to supply the needed requirement. If there’s a need to increase our weekly allocation, we will do so to provide the public their needed rice supply,” Aquino said.

Aquino stressed that NFA rice remains at P27 per kilogram for 25 percent brokens and P32 per kilogram for 15 percent brokens. “There’s no price increase of the government rice. Our people can still buy NFA rice at these affordable prices,” Aquino said.

The NFA has a total of 16,335 accredited rice outlets nationwide strategically located in major and minor public markets.

 “The NFA is trying its best to judiciously allocate its limited rice stocks, focusing its distribution of low-priced NFA rice to areas where more of our low-income countrymen will have continued access to affordable but good quality rice,” Aquino said.

For this year, the NFA was allowed to import only the balance of 250,000 metric tons from the approved importation of 500,000 MT in 2016. At the average daily consumption requirement of 31,463 MT or 629,260 bags, the rice imports are good for an additional 8 days to the government’s food security buffer stock.

“While it is part of our mandate to also stabilize the price and supply of rice in the markets, the NFA is experiencing difficulty at this time because of our low inventory which gives us a limited capacity to bring down prices,” Aquino said.

The NFA is also finding it hard to accomplish its palay procurement target because private traders were buying palay at much higher price of P18-P24/kg compared to the government’s support price of P17/kg.

The NFA assures, however, that the total industry stocks are more than enough for the country’s national requirement. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), total industry stocks at 1.944 million metric tons are good to last for 62 days.

“The only problem now is the price. Although we have so much supply industry-wide, the government is finding it hard to pull down prices of commercial rice due to our limited inventory,” Aquino said. (NFA)


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