San Juan, La Union – With the onset of the lean months when the price of rice is expected to rise, the National Food Authority regional office here has guaranteed the availability of affordable rice sold in its accredited retail outlets.
“NFA rice is still available at P25.00 per kilogram. The high volume of rice in the market brought about by the agency’s stock positioning and the flooding of rice in the market has created an ample supply and provided affordable rice that is available in consumer markets,” NFA Region I Director Atty. Efren J. Sabong said.
Sabong said the early stock positioning and the procured palay from the farmers during the summer cropping season are keeping the price of the staple at bay even during the lean months from July to September.
Sabong said that at present, the NFA in the region has a total of 3.267 million bags of rice in its warehouses distributed across the region including the provinces of Abra and Benguet. With a daily consumption requirement of 53,620 bags, Sabong said that this inventory is good for 61 days or until the 1st quarter of the coming year based on daily average sales.
NFA rice is sold through the agency’s regular outlets and the Bigasan sa Barangay Outlets spread across the region. To date, NFA has accomplished around 62 per cent of its distribution target as it continues to distribute affordable rice to its 1,709 accredited outlets.
Meanwhile, the agency is in full preparation for the coming procurement season for the year’s main cropping season which usually starts in October.
Sabong said that the agency will continue to buy palay from farmers, either individual or cooperatives, at the government support price of P17.00 per kilogram. He however, cautioned farmers to sell only dry and clean palay so that they can avail of the government support price of the cereal.
“When we say clean and dry, the moisture content of the palay should be at 14 percent”, Sabong said. “If the palay sold to us has higher moisture content than 14 percent, naturally, the buying price will correspondingly decrease,” he added.
The agency’s procurement program not only boosted the buffer stock of the agency but also serves as a ready market for the harvests of the farmers offering them a higher buying price resulting in a higher return of investment for their produce.#