Agri office denies rice hoarding in Central Luzon-A A +A
Saturday, March 2, 2013
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - The Department of Agriculture (DA) office dismissed as “mere speculation” talks about rice smuggling and hoarding here.
DA Regional Director Andrew Villacorta said Saturday buying prices for palay among traders is still high and the price councils could readily detach “unnatural” movements in the market.
However, Villacorta was quick to note that the DA is ready in case there are unnatural movements in the price of palay and rice in the market, along with the Department of Trade and Industry.
“In fact we are at a surplus of 130 percent and much of this surplus is shipped to Manila,” Villacorta added, stressing that the buying price is high in Central Luzon among traders and farmers.
He added that an indication of rice smuggling is when farmers would troop to sell their palay to the National Food Authority, which is a sign that traders have begun to refuse buying.
“But this is not the case. The truth is, farmers are selling more to traders because of good prices,” Villacorta added.
The DA is also projecting a harvest of 1.6 1 million metric tons for the 1st semester of dry season this year. For 2012, the DA was able to record some 3.6 million metric tons of palay produce for the whole region.
Villacorta said they are hoping to meet a 10 percent increase each cropping season in order to exceed or at least meet the last year’s produce in the region. He added that the DA here is optimistic that the DA will be able to exceed the 2012 statistics.
“We are hoping to exceed target, provided that there are no calamities that would adversely affect production we could meet targets,” Villacorta said.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 03, 2013.