An important message to the public: "No rice shortage!" - DA Secretary Piñol

photo from DA Sec's post (ctto)

Department of Agriculture Manny Piñol assured the public on Tuesday that there will no more shortage of rice despite the reports circulating about the looming shortage of rice.

Contrary to reports, Piñol said that there is a huge inventory of locally harvested rice, thus, National Food Authority (NFA) has not brought in tons of rice but only enough to balance the market price of rice.

In his Facebook Page, the Agriculture chief explained the current inventory of rice in the country confirming buffer stock of 3-M metric tons until the end of this quarter.

“From January to March this year or a period of 90 days, the national rice consumption is estimated at 2.8-M Metric Tons, meaning that with the projected harvest of 3.067-M Metric Tons for the First Quarter would push the country's buffer stocks inventory to 3.004-M MT which is good for 96 days.” Piñol said.
He also cleared during a press briefing that “rice shortage” circulating on media reports actually referred to the inventory of the NFA, which they used to infuse into the market to stabilize the price of the rice.

The NFA imports rice and sells it cheaper ranging from P27 to P32 per kilo while commercial rice is at P 45 to P60 per kilo.

“The NFA needs to bring in the imported rice because private rice traders have inconsiderately priced commercial rice at a level which hurts ordinary consumers.” Piñol said.

“Rice traders who make money from importing rice, however, are trying to scare government policy makers by making it appear that there is a rice shortage, to justify the entry of additional imported rice.” He added.

With the same announcement, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the we have enough supply of rice.

Meanwhile, Senator Cynthia Villar, the chairman of the Senate committee on agriculture also explained that rice shortage is only for NFA not the whole country after the department sent its stocks to calamity affected areas.

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