As representatives of local rice farmers, we strongly oppose proposals from top economic managers of the government to privatize the marketing function of the National Food Authority and its food security and rice price and supply stabilization mandate.
The presence of NFA buying stations in localities is a huge influence for palay prices to increase as the government buys our palay at a higher price. If privatized, the non-participation of NFA in buying our produce would eventually lead to the palay trading monopoly of the profiteering private sector.
Our government’s economic managers must realize the simple fact that small rice farmers like us face trading losses in a privatized NFA and there will be no reason for us to continue farming. Now, where do we source our country’s staple food? Rice importation is certainly not the answer as it endangers food security in every rice import-dependent nation. When the world market’s price and supply volatility creates stock insufficiency or prohibitive price, it results in rice crises as what happened in 1995, 2008 and 2013 in the country.