Tagbilaran City, Bohol, April 15. (PIA) ---BOHOLANOS should remain unfazed over the reported national security concern of shrinking rice supply.
Citing a 112% rice production sufficiency recorded by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), a top National Food Authority (NFA) executive here assures, “we have enough.”
Ramon Banluta, NFA Acting Provincial Operations Officer shared this in reaction to a news carried by the Philippine Daily Inquirer April 12, 2011.
A high rice sufficiency rating means that without bringing local harvests outside the island, Bohol rice production alone should be more than enough to supply local consumption.
But even with the local rice supply stocks, NFA still gets around 400,000 bags of rice this year as its regular allocation to respond to the mandate of providing cheap and accessible rice, Banluta said.
Compared with last year’s data, Banluta added that his office received some 500,000 bags of rice then, but reduced national importation caused the staved-off allocation for the island.
That is no cause for worry either, he said as Bohol farmers did have a relatively good harvest season.
To prove his point, he said the fact has kept government’s local procurement at bay.
Local commercial pick-up buying and selling here is pegged at P17 per kilo of palay, and commercial buyers beat the government because they pick up the palay at the farms while the farmers need to transport their produce to the nearest bodega to sell to the government.
The NFA exec reacted to reports about the threat of a looming rice crisis that has been monitored by intelligence communities.
The apprehension is based on the fact that a rice supply crisis could be the latest potential sources of unrest and would soon be a national security concern.
The threat comes next after terrorist attacks and political conflicts.
Earlier, the report quoted the Department of Agriculture saying that there is a national rice production shortfall of 1.3 million metric tons.
The country’s top officials however revealed that the country has some 2.3 million metric tons of buffer stocks.
DA also reportedly said that NFA is importing some 300,000 metric tons more this time. (PIABohol/Rey Anthony Chiu)