CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga, May 19 (PIA) - - The move of the government to temporarily suspend importation of rice this cropping raised the price of palay, giving break to farmers here.
Traders now buy palay at P18-20 per kilogram compared to the previous price of P14-16/kg.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol announced the move in his recent visit to Kalinga, which came as a relief to rice farmers in the province who suffered massive losses caused by super typhoon ‘Lawin’ last year.
In the December harvest last year, farmers had measly 30-40 bags of yield per hectare. This May harvest, farmers had recovered the usual average of 130-145 bags per hectare. With the new buying price offered by traders, a bag of palay costs more than a P1, 000.
Meanwhile, amid the order on suspension of rice importation this harvest season, the National Food Authority (NFA) provincial station assured sufficient buffer for the lean months.
NFA-Kalinga Assistant Manager Ric Baliang reported their current inventory showed 11,000 bags of rice. With the monthly 2,000 bag rice distribution allotment to bigasang outlets, the present reserve could last until the next harvest in November.
If the need arises, any time we can always request for back-up supply from other stations in the region, he said.
The NFA provincial station has now accredited 205 bigasan outlets in line with its continuing registration of licensed rice retailers in the province. It aims to open more than 300 licensed retailers in all 152 barangays in Kalinga especially in remote areas, Baliang said.
He disclosed that NFA personnel conduct strict monitoring of bigasan outlets to check on illegal conversion of NFA rice to commercial rice in order to ensure continued supply of cheap rice to consumers.
He urged the public to avail of quality government rice at NFA licensed retailers at P27-32/kilo. (JDP/LL-PIA CAR, Kalinga)