THE Samahang Industriyang Agrikultura (SINAG) expressed serious doubts about the sufficiency of NFA rice in the months ahead contrary to assurances made by National Food Authority (NFA).
SINAG president Rosendo So projects that the supply of rice from NFA, including the stocks from the commercial and minimum access volume will not be enough until the next harvest season in October and until the month of December.
Citing the statistics and data available, so said supply of rice will actually be good for 8.89 days or 9days only contrary to NFA’s report that existing rice stocks will only be good for 13 days.
He said the reported 160,913 bags or equivalent to 8,045.65 metric tons available for the 2,956,725 population in Pangasinan’s 2015 census cannot meet the average daily consumption of 904.5 metric ton a day in Pangasinan.
To prove him wrong, he said NFA should deliver more NFA rice to markets amid reports that NFA is re-bagging its rice with commercial rice, an indication that the buffer stock today is not sufficient.
Meanwhile, So said SINAG is set to file a case against the NFA for using the P5.2 billion to pay debts instead of using it to help stabilize price of rice by leveling its buffer stock.
“It wasn’t right that the fund intended to pay for buffer stock for the lean months were used to pay the agency’s debts,“ So said. “Consequently, the level of buffer stock is affected by the higher selling price of rice,” he added.
He said the Department of Agriculture did not foresee the problem if buffer stocks are not assured.
He cited the time when DA again took the level of buffer stock for granted when the black bug attacked. “Sabi okay ang buffer stock, eh hindi naman ganun kalaki ang ani, yong one hectare dapat umani 100 to 120 cavans pero ang lumabas lang 10 to 20 cavans per hectares yon ang hindi naagapan,” he said.
So also expressed concern over reports of rebagging of NFA rice mixed with commercial rice, indicating short supply of NFA rice contrary to its assurance of sufficient stock.
“Gusto natin malaman sa NFA, nasaan ang suplay bakit kinukulang, hindi natin isinama dito ang household stocks kasi suntok yon sa buwan,” So intoned. (Nora Dominguez)
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