Aggie dept, food agency: No rice shortage

By RUEL V. PELONE of businessweekmindanao.com

MISAMIS Oriental–A top official of the National Food Authority (NFA) and the Department of Agriculture in Region 10 (DA-10) on Tuesday belied report that local residents went on panic-buying due to rice shortage in the region.

In a statement, NFA Acting Regional Director for Misamis Oriental Mr. Camilo D. Magtrayo assured the public that there is no such thing as “panic-buying” as reported in the newspaper.

Magtrayo did not however identify the newspaper in his one-page press statement issued to various media outlets, a copy of which was obtained by BusinessWeek Mindanao online team.

Also in a press statement, Regional Executive Director Lealyn A. Ramos for Northern Mindanao affirmed the statement of Magtrayo saying “no rice shortage in Northern Mindanao.”

Ramos reported that as of June 30, 2013, the region has harvested a total of 277,052 metric tons of palay from 59,968 hectares rice area planted during dry season. This provided around 3,601,678 bags of rice @ 50 kilograms (kgs) per bag.

In its latest monitoring, the price of rice in Carmen and Cogon, the major public markets in Cagayan de Oro, is selling well-milled rice ranging from P38-40; regular milled rice at P32-37; premium rice at P40-45 and fancy rice at P42-45, said Ramos adding, “stocks of different rice varieties are also visibly displayed in the market that denotes abundance in the supply of rice in the region.”

Magtrayo said the public need not even worry over the supply of rice–and even the price of rice in the local markets.

“There is no truth to the alleged shortage of staple food (rice),” said Magtrayo.

He stressed that the NFA has adequate supply of rice that can even last even beyond the lean months season––the months of June to August.

Contrary to newspaper report, he said that starting this week the NFA will increase its rice allocation to NFA-accredited outlets in the markets.

On one hand, Magtrayo has dispatched price monitoring teams to ensure that the agency’s low-priced good quality rice is readily available in Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City.

“And ensure that there will be no speculations to drive the price of rice in the markets,” he said adding, “prices of rice have normalized with the onset of palay and corn harvest.”

Meanwhile, price monitoring conducted by the Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Division of DA-10 shows that an increase of P0.50/kilo for well-milled rice is observed for August 1-6, 2013 period.

An increase of P0.50/kilo for regular milled rice was also noted for July 18-23, 2013 period while it has remained steady in the subsequent weeks.

Ramos further assured the public that the increase of prices during the lean months should not be used as indication of rice insufficiency in the region.

Magtrayo also emphasized that a total of 500,014 bags of rice are stocked at the NFA bodega in Cagayan de Oro City as to date.

“In addition to our rice supplies are the stocks positioned at the traders and retailers which are not included in the NFA inventories. The rice supplies in the region are more than enough for the needs of the consuming public,” Magtrayo said.

Magtrayo also announced that NFA will continue to buy palay throughout the region at P17.70 per kilo.

He further said that starting this week NFA will increase its rice allocation to NFA accredited outlets in the markets. This will also ensure the consumers that there will be abundant supply of affordable and quality rice in the market.

National Food Authority (NFA) through Regional Director Miguel C. Wycoco guarantees the public that there is enough supply of rice in Northern Mindanao.

As of August 5, 2013 stock inventories positioned in the different NFA bodegas in the region reached 755,686 bags of rice at 50 kgs per bag.

The DA and the NFA will continue to monitor the supplies and prices of rice in the market and will do necessary measures to stabilize the prices and stocks of rice in the region.

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