NFA earns the ire of Sen. Cynthia Villar… for the nth time.
At last week’s resumption of the hearing on the National Food Authority (NFA) “rice crisis”, Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, questioned the move of the state-run grains agency to sell government rice to traders despite its dwindling supply in the domestica market.
NFA Administrator Jason Aquino reportedly admitted this but said the supply came from stocks from 2014 to 2016, a response that prompted Villar to ask Aquino why the agency still keeps stocks from 2014 which should be rotting by now.
But Aquino denied any incidence of rotting rice at government depositories. Only “aging” rice.
Villar said the agency could have cushioned the effects of supply deficit in the market had NFA been doing its job to buy rice from local farmers instead of importing.
However, the NFA bemoaned that rice farmers have favored selling to traders’ due to their higher offers compared to that of the agency’s which is at P17 per kilo of unmilled rice.
The agency has been seeking economic managers’ approval to hike the buying price but in vain due to fears of burgeoning inflation.