Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol wants to double the country’s rice buffer stock
Piñol presented the Department of Agriculture’s preparation plans for the expected onslaught of La Niña at last Monday’s Cabinet meeting.
“In the face of the unpredictability of climate, the country must strive to attain not only rice self-sufficiency but establish a six-month buffer stock,” Piñol said in a statement on his Facebook page.
La Niña is a weather phenomenon triggered by unusually cold sea temperatures near the equator in the eastern central Pacific Ocean and is characterized by higher than normal rainfall.
The country’s rice buffer stock is the equivalent of at least three months worth of daily consumption. The buffer stock does not refer only to rice in the warehouses of the National Food Authority but also includes those held by commercial traders and households.
As of February, the country’s rice stock amounted to 2.94 million tons, about a quarter compared to the same period last year.