BUTUAN City – The National Food Authority in Caraga Region (NFA-13) has stopped supplying rice to accredited retailers to ensure the availability of supply throughout the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period.
NFA-13 information officer Amelou Jane Mendoza told the Philippine News Agency Tuesday the move would ensure that the agency meets the rice requirements of government institutional buyers amid the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
“We need to prioritize the local government units (LGUs) and the different relief-giving agencies as they continue their relief food operations,” Mendoza said.
She was referring to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), local government units (LGUs), and other entities involved in the government Covid-19 response.
“With the implementation of the Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tarrification Law (RTL), the primary mandate of DA-NFA is to secure the buffer stock to be distributed in times of emergency or calamities,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza said that from March up to April 24, 2020, around 37,340 bags of rice have already been released by NFA-13 to LGUs and the DSWD in the area.
Based on the 2 percent market participation of NFA rice from daily consumption rate, she said NFA's supply in the region could still last for up to two months.
However, she said that if the market participation of NFA rice would increase up to 25 percent due to high demand from institutional buyers, the NFA supply could only last for a month.
“There is no need to be alarmed; so far, we have enough supply of NFA rice,” Mendoza said.
She added that a recent report from the Department of Agriculture in the Caraga Region (DA-13) also assured enough supply based on the current harvest season in the area.
Mendoza said Caraga Region is expected to produce 315,947 metric tons or an equivalent of 134 percent rice sufficiency by the end of the first semester based on the consolidated planting report of the LGUs.
She added that NFA-13 is currently buying dry and clean palay from farmers at the price of PHP19 per kilo. (PNA)
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