NFA to import additional 250,000 MT of rice before yearend as El NiAo intensifies (Philippines News Agency)


September 9, 2015



and lt;P and gt; The National Food Authority (NFA) on Wednesday said that it would be importing 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice before the end of the year in order to further boost its buffer stock in preparation to the looming impact of an intensified El NiAo phenomenon. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;NFA Administrator Renan B. Dalisay said the Inter-agency Food Security Committee (FSC) on Rice has given the go-signal to the state grain agency to proceed with the standby authority to import the additional volume in order to counter the adverse effects of El NiAo on rice production and buffer stock inventory. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;Another 500,000 MT of rice has been approved also by the FSC for importation for the projected deficit in production for the year 2016, but shipment of the additional volume will be made early next year. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;Dalisay said the FSC recommendation is a result of the assessment made by an Inter-agency El NiAo Task Force on the impacts of the El NiAo on local rice production. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Atmospherical Services Administration (PAGASA), drought due to El NiAo is predicted to intensify beginning October this year and will last until May 2016. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;The state weather bureau has forecasted that traditional rice granaries of the country like Isabela, Mindoro, Quezon, Albay, Aklan, Antique, Iloilo, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga are among the provinces that will be hard hit by the weather phenomenon. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;PAGASA likewise forecasted that the severe impact of the impending drought could be likened to what happened in 1997-1998 where there was a 24 percent drop in the country’s local palay production. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;In the meantime, Dalisay said that invitation has already been sent to the countries of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia to participate in the bidding for the supply of 250,000 MT of rice intended for this year, and the 500,000 MT rice supply for 2016 under a Government-to-Government procurement scheme. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;The Philippines has a standing rice supply agreement with these countries. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;The imports will be of the well-milled 25 percent broken rice variety. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;Despite the importations, the NFA chief assured that the agency has sufficient stock until the end of the year and prices in the market remain stable. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;However, to maintain the stability of rice stock and price, the government will start negotiating for the additional rice supplies meant for the end of the year as well as those that are intended for the first quarter of 2016 now that rice prices in the international market are still low and stable, Dalisay said. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;He said that rice prices in the international market may jack-up once there is a big demand from other rice-importing countries since El NiAo is a worldwide phenomenon and expected to be the worst in 17 years. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;The NFA said that rice deliveries will be on staggered basis. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;For the 250,000 MT rice supply, shipment schedule will be 125,000 MT by end of November and 125,000 MT by end of December this year. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;Meanwhile, shipment for the 500,000 intended as part of the country’s rice supply for 2016, will be 175,000 MT by end of January, 175,000 MT by end of February and 150,000 MT by end of March next year. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;The additional importations at the end of the year will bring the total volume of rice contracted and imported by the NFA for 2015 at 1,787,000 MT. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;These include the 500,000 MT contracted in February, 150,000 and 100,000 MT contracted in June, the 187,000 MT MAV-Omnibus Origin private importation, the 600,000 MT allocated volume for the MAV-CSQ opened last July, and the 250,000 MT to be contracted this month. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;The importations were done upon the recommendation of the Food Security Committee and NFA Council. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;Dalisay said that the total volume of rice imported is within the gap estimate of the country’s palay production of 18.86 MMT palay, which translates to 12.26 MMT of rice equivalent, and the country’s consumption requirement with 30-day mandated buffer stock at the start of lean month season. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;The El NiAo Task Force is composed of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization (OPAFSAM), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Energy (DOE), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and NFA. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;FSC-Rice is chaired by NEDA with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), PSA, DA, NFA, NIA, PAGASA, DTI and Farmers’ representative as members. and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P and gt;Meanwhile, the NFA Council is chaired by OPAFSAM Secretary Francis Pangilinan with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Department of Finance (DOF), BSP, DTI, NEDA, NFA and a farmer’s representative as members. (PNA) and lt;/P and gt; and lt;P/ and gt;