Sunday, June 22, 2014

Inspect warehouses, NFA told

MALOLOS CITY—Bulacan farmers demanded inspection and inventory of rice warehouses in Central Luzon as price spiked again while supply is low.

For his part, Director Rex Estoperez, the spokesperson of the National Food Authority (NFA) said they might conduct inspection but did not disclose where and when.

Melencio Domingo, chair of the Malolos City Agriculture and Fisheries Council (MCAFC) said there is no problem with rice supply.
Instead, he stressed that the problem lies in the price due to perceive hoarding of some commercial traders.

“Dapat simulan ng NFA ang inspection sa mga warehouses ng bigas sa Central Luzon, Domingo said.

He noted high volume of harvest by Bulacan farmers last cropping season.

“Saan napunta yung magandang ani namin, malamang diyan ay iniipit lang sa mga warehouse,” he said and noted reports by the Department of Agriculture which said that the country achieved 97 percent rice sufficiency last year.
Domingo added that low supply of rice in the market is artificial due to hoarding, thus, the need for NFA inspection monitoring of rice inventories in warehouses.

For his part, Estoperez said the NFA might impose its visitorial powers soon.

However, he said that there is no need yet for NFA to conduct inspection.
Estoperez noted that in the past the NFA conducted inspection on warehouses when supply of rice went down.

In a live interview over Radyo Bulacan, he said, “sapat pa ang supply ng bigas natin.”

He also advised the public not to go on panic buying and to avoid wasting rice.

With rice price hike, Estoperez said that it is normal at this time of year which he described as lean months.

But Bulacan farmers said rice process today is anything but normal.
They noted that palay price climbed to P25.60 last week, the highest buying price in history.
Farmers said that it is a clear indication of the low supply of rice due to allege hoarding.  (Dino Balabo)