NFA welcomes suggestion to expand its food security role
The National Food Authority (NFA) management has welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent pronouncement that he is considering the proposal to strengthen the agency and give it a bigger role in ensuring national food security.
In a media interview over the weekend, Duterte said he will discuss this plan with NFA administrator Jason Aquino as he intends to improve on the country’s food chain and food supply as the focus of his third year in office.
As a response, NFA administrator Aquino said he welcomes this development because it affirms the President’s trust in the NFA as an efficient and reliable guardian of the nation’s food security.
It will be recalled that the NFA was originally established as a grains agency in 1972 to put order to a chaotic grains industry.
With much success in its programs, the agency was reconstituted into a food authority in 1981, with expanded commodity coverage to include other food products.
This gave birth to the Kadiwa convenience stores that served as distribution and marketing arm of government for agricultural produce from across the country.
Duterte, following the advice of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, said the NFA could be “the consolidator of products from each region to be repositioned in other parts of the country where these commodities are needed.”
This means the NFA will once again tap on its previous experience in running a food terminal and convenience stores, and using its nationwide logistics and manpower to handle the distribution of food stocks to stabilize supply and prices while helping farmers gain access to the market.
“The NFA people have always been ready for bigger roles and challenges. We welcome this proposal with open hearts and minds,” Aquino said.