CABARROGUIS, Quirino: The National Food Authority (NFA) here has raised alarm of a possible rice shortage in the coming lean season, as it expressed full support to the immediate importation of the staple food.
According to the NFA, the agency failed to meet its procurement target of palay (unmilled rice) during the harvest season because of the high buying price offered by private traders.
NFA provincial manager Corazon Pangan said they were able to procure 130 bags only out of their targeted 10,000 bags despite efforts to encourage farmers to sell their produce to the agency.
She added that although the farmers benefited from the high buying prices of the private traders, there is apprehension that the NFA might not be able to maintain stability of commercial prices at levels within the reach of poor families.
“Our stocks will only last until July and if there’s no rice importation, we might not be able to stabilize prices in the market because private traders inventory or rice supply is high so they could easily command prices,” Pangan pointed out.
The NFA buying price remains low at P 17 per kilogram for clean and dry with incentive of 20 – 50 centavos per kilogram for delivery, 20 centavos per kilogram for drying and additional 30 centavos for cooperative development incentive fund (CDIF) for farmers’ organizations.