BUFFER STOCK. Workers pile bags of rice inside a National Food Authority (NFA) warehouse in Alangalang, Leyte in this Oct. 23, 2020 photo. The NFA said on Monday it has enough stocks of rice in case local government units will need more supply in preparation for typhoon season this year. (Photo courtesy of NFA)

 

TACLOBAN CITY – The National Food Authority (NFA) has enough stocks of rice in case local government units will need more supply in preparation for typhoon season in the latter part of the year, an official said Monday.

 

NFA Eastern Visayas regional manager Arlene Tanseco said current stocks in NFA warehouses will last until early 2021 based on current demand for government rice in the region.

 

“Our transport facilities in different regions are ready to deliver stocks if in case Eastern Visayas needs more. But for now, our inventory is enough to supply the requirement this typhoon season,” Tanseco told the Philippine News Agency in a phone interview.

 

As of Friday, NFA warehouses have stored 209,424 bags of rice.

 

Among provinces, Leyte has the most stocks with 59,774 bags, Samar with 44,708 bags, Northern Samar with 37,377 bags, Eastern Samar with 32,803 bags, Southern Leyte with 28,076 bags, and Biliran with 6,686 bags.

 

“Our inventory will last for about seven days if NFA is the only source of rice in the region, but that is not the case since we have a lot of rice kept by private traders and households especially this harvest season,” Tanseco added.

 

As of Oct. 21, the grains agency has already procured 19,158 bags of palay (unhusked rice) from local farmers this May to October cropping season, nearly triple the volume purchased in the same harvest season last year.

 

Tanseco said more farmers sell their produce to the government this harvest season due to low trading prices offered by millers. 

 

The NFA buys clean and dry palay at PHP19 per kilogram, up from the PHP12 price set by private traders.

 

Wet palay can be dried for hours in the compound of NFA buying stations through solar pavements.

 

Tanseco has encouraged rice farmers who benefitted from government assistance to sell at least 10 percent of their produce to the NFA to ensure the availability of quality staple food to local consumers during off harvest months. (PNA)