NFA still wants importation to happen
The National Food Authority (NFA) still wants importation to happen to replenish its fast-depleting buffer stock.
This, after the NFA Council, the inter-agency policy-making body of NFA, disapproved the agency’s request to import 250,000 metric tons of rice in view of the “stable” commercial rice prices and “bright” local production forecasts.
NFA said that allowing importation will help the agency fulfill its mandate of food security and price stabilization in the wake of increasing prices of other basic commodities.
“Even if commercial rice prices are stable, regular NFA rice patrons are still looking for it because of the average P9/kilogram difference in price. Removing NFA rice from the market is like taking away the lowest-priced brand of rice whose quality is comparable to higher-priced commercial rice,” NFA administrator Jason Aquino said.
NFA currently sells rice at P27 and P32/kg, while commercial rice varieties of comparable quality are sold at P 36-PP41/kg.
“It is the function of the NFA to ensure that rice, the basic staple of 85 percent of Filipinos, is always available, affordable and accessible to all, especially to the poor and low-income sector that rely on government to fulfill this social responsibility,” Aquino said.
He added that it will be impossible for NFA to ensure national food security if it does not have actual rice stocks, no matter how small its share of the market.