KALIBO, Aklan – The current buffer stock of palay in this province remains sufficient and is expected to last more than three months, according to National Food Authority (NFA) Aklan Provincial Manager Benilda Fidel.
She said that NFA-Aklan opted to lease an additional private-warehouse for the extra storage of unmilled rice due to the high volume of its deliveries and stocks in its warehouse in Barangay Linabuan Sur, Banga, Aklan.
NFA-Aklan has exceeded its current warehouse capacity of 70,000 bags procured from local farmers.
The food authority now has a total of 83,000 bags of palay and 3,600 bags of locally-milled rice.
The Rice trade liberation law or Republic Act No. 11203 requires the food agency to source its buffer stock from domestic farmers in order to meet the mandated buffer stock level for at least 15-30 days.
Fidel said that the buying stations are strategically located across this province to allow local farmers the ease of buying and selling of rice.
The NFA-Aklan Grains Center in the town of Banga, Farm Level Grains Center warehouse in the town of Ibajay and mobile palay procurement teams directly buy from the farmers.
“NFA is expecting influx of local farmers to sell their palay during the harvest season at a higher price compared to private rice traders,” she said.
Currently, NFA is buying clean and dry palay from local farmers at P19 per kilogram with 14-percent moisture content and 100-95 percent purity.
The NFA local rice is sold wholesale at P25 per kilo and P27 per kilo to consumers by accredited retailers. The retail price of regular milled rice ranges from P32 to P38 per kilo, while the well milled rice is at P40 to 44 per kilo.
“May imported rice but we have a minimal inventory… local rice from domestic farmers is available in the market,” Fidel stressed.
She added that government agencies like the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Protection, Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare and Development are purchase rice at a wholesale price.(With a report from Akean Forum/PN)