DA to meet with NFA Council to resolve rice issues
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Food Authority (NFA) Council, the highest policy making body of NFA, will attempt to find solution on the issues hounding the rice sector.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the meeting today was called by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez, following a request made by the DA for an urgent assessment of the rice supply situation and prices in the market.
This will be the first time that the NFA Council and the DA, which is not a member of the Council, will meet in the DA Office since it was placed under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Food Security and Agriculture Matters (OPAFSAM) under the Aquino Administration.
“Among the issues which will be presented by the DA to the council today are: The Current Rice Stocks Inventory and the Projected Rice Stock Position at the end of the year taking into account the damage caused by a series of tropical storms which hit Central Luzon; and The rice supply situation in the ZAMBASULTA Area (Zamboanga City, Basilan, Sulu, Tawitawi) following the closure of the rice smuggling routes from Sandakan and Labuan in Sabah, Malaysia to Tawitawi and the other island provinces which led to a rice shortage in the region,” Piñol said.
Piñol is also planning to raise during the meeting the concerns of rice millers and importers regarding the congestion in the Port of Manila, which delays the unloading of rice stocks and the requested extension on the timeline for the arrival of imported rice stocks from September 15 to 30.
“The meeting today is expected to thresh out all the issues, synchronize all actions and establish a well-coordinated working relationship to prevent the problems which affected the market recently,” Piñol said.