CITY OF MALOLOS – The government is being urged to immediately make rice importation to prevent impending price increase due to limited local rice supply.
Simeon Sioson, chairperson of the Federation of Central Luzon Farmer’s Cooperative, said in an open letter that the country needs to import rice due to the country’s low rice stock inventory.
A shortage in rice harvest was experienced by the country’s farmers in the 2017 main rice cropping season, Sioson said and added that a big percentage of local farmers were prevented from planting this 2018 second cropping season due to lack of irrigation.
Sioson also cited that the National Food Authority Council and the Department of Agriculture know that there is a 30 to 40 percent decrease in farmers’ yield and most of these were already procured by private traders, millers and rice processors that have the capability to dictate rice prices.
He also noted that the NFA is mandated to provide affordable rice to the consuming public, however, the government’s grain agency has now only four to five days of rice inventory and has no capability to stabilize or maintain affordable rice to the consuming public.
It is imperative that the NFA replenish its rice inventories to a safe volume that would prevent some unscrupulous rice traders from increasing the prices of limited rice stocks in their possessions, Sioson noted..
Importing rice stocks immediately will greatly ease the looming rice shortage and imminent price increase of local rice products that are already mostly procured by private trades from local farmers, the farmer leader pointed out. (RONDA Balita Online News)