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‘Our rice supply is more than enough’—DA Usec

Despite the recent typhoon that caused damage to crops, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has assured that the country’s rice supply is more than enough for the coming months.IMG_3032.jpeg

(MB FILE PHOTO\MARK BALMORES)

In a recent Laging Handa public briefing, Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian stressed that there is no rice shortage in the country.

“Our rice supply is more than enough for our needs for the next few months,” Sebastian said.

“We are at the peak of planting, we expect that this month there will be harvests, and in September there will be many harvests. We have a sufficient supply of rice,” he went on.

The DA also clarified that the National Food Authority’s (NFA’s) buffer stock of rice is different from the stocks of rice for the whole country.

“The persistent popular reference to buffer stocks held by the National Food Authority as the country’s rice supply source when local production is short is no longer valid under the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) of 2019,” it noted.

“Under the RTL, NFA buffer stocks are solely for emergency requirements like calamities. Thus NFA’s buffer stocks should no longer be based on national daily consumption,” it added.

The department maintained that previous reports saying NFA’s stocks are at alarming levels of 1. 2 days are “flawed and irrelevant” considering the buffer stock level set by RTL at 300,000 to 350,000 metric tons (MT) at any given time.

Moreover, Agriculture Undersecretary Mercedita Sombilla pointed out that it would be faulty to compute NFA buffer stocks based on the average national daily consumption of 37,362 MT since NFA stocks are now limited to emergency relief and for the requirements of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The official disclosed that there’s a total of 5.7 million MT of palay harvested during the dry season, an additional 1.9 million MT of imported rice in stock, and 1.8 million MT carry-over stock from 2022.

The country also has new harvests in July and August, albeit minimal, he added.

https://mb.com.ph/2023/8/3/our-rice-supply-is-more-than-enough-da-usec-1 QR Code

Published Date: August 4, 2023

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