THE National Food Authority (NFA) in Pangasinan has enough rice buffer to last until the next cropping season this summer despite failing to meet their 2023 procurement target.
In a phone interview on Wednesday, NFA Eastern Pangasinan assistant branch manager Frederick Dulay said they have in their warehouse some 20,000 50-kilo bags of rice, or around 1,000 metric tons, bought from farmers from October to December 2023.
He said the agency procured 20,805 bags of rice last year, way below its 485,500 bags target.
He attributed this to competition with traders, who bought the supply from farmers for around P30 per kilo for dry palay, higher than the PHP19-PHP23 per kilo price set by the NFA.
Dulay clarified that the low buffer stock has no direct impact on the supply of rice in the province, but has a downside effect during relief operations of local government units (LGUs).
“But we can source stocks from other regions that have adequate supply,” he pointed out in Filipino.
Dulay said they target to procure a total of 100,000 bags of rice from farmers during the summer cropping season.
He said NFA is coordinating with local governments for the latter to allocate a budget to incentivize farmers who will sell their rice supply to the agency. (PNA)