As July rolls in, the customary lean season for rice production sets in, but the status of buffer stocks at the warehouses of the National Food Authority, on which is vested the functions of ensuring the food security of the country and the stability of supply and price of the staple grain, are running low.
NFA apparently has some catching up to do in replenishing its buffer stock for dealing with calamities and for regulating the price of rice in accordance with supply and demand realities in the market, which is starting to feel the pinch with the buffer level down to an estimated measly five days.
Retailers of NFA rice are earnestly hoping that the replenishment supply arrives on time.
A large segment of the retail market prefers rice supplied by NFA because of the predictability of prices and supply compared to that of commercial merchants.
According to NFA Spokesperson Marietta Ablaza, “We have a list of accredited retailers and we are making sure that they will al get their allocations.”
A slight attrition in the stocks, corresponding to one day less per month, was due to the need to distribute rice to Marawi and other related areas affected by the aftermath of the armed conflict.
NFA anticipates that with the expected arrival of imported rice for replenishment, the supply situation will stabilize by July 31.
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