The country’s rice inventory in November rose by 30 percent from month-ago level as imports continue to come into the country, government data showed.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported in its monthly rice and corn inventory that rice stocks reached 2.96 million metric tons during the month. This was, however, lower by 1.3 percent than the year-ago level.
Economic managers said that last year was an abnormal year for the rice sector considering the artificial shortage caused by the National Food Authority (NFA), which led to rising rice prices. Rice supply rose significantly after a series of importation.
Relative to the inventory level a year ago, rice stored in households and commercial warehouses declined by 2 percent and 26.7 percent, respectively. However, a surge of 334.8 percent was recorded in NFA depositories.
This sudden uptick was due to President Duterte’s directive to the grains agency to beef up its stocks with local palay through aggressive procurement as a means to help Filipino farmers cope with tightening competition in the market due to rice importation.
In the meantime, the Department of Agriculture is set to distribute P5,000 worth of cash aid to each of the 600,000 small-scale farmers who were most affected by the initial impact of the rice liberalization law.
Of the total rice stocks during the month, 51.5 percent were held by households; 33.1 percent in commercial warehouses, and 15.3 percent in NFA warehouses. INQ
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