NFA - Not Feasible Anymore

Free Rice
Pass on the rice please! smile

FOOD IS A VOLATILE COMMODITY that needs considerable early warning. Any increase in food prices directly affects everyone, especially the poor. Food security programs, therefore is an imperative for government. It rest on the latter’s ability to produce, provide and, if need be, procure enough supply for a given period until the next harvest season.

The total food supply comes from domestic agricultural production, warehouses and other food storage facilities, as well as food imports. As such, the pattern of the country’s food supply is contained in the Philippines Food Balance Sheet (FBS), a statistical account of the country’s food supply for a given year. The FBS is intended to provided information on the national food situation and to determine the adequacy of food supply against acceptable nutritional requirements of the people for the specified year.

The scarcity of rice supply in Metro Manila is an alarming situation as of press time to the majority poor Filipinos were purchasing is powerless. For poor people, rice is consumed for mere food subsistence. It has been observed that for the very low income family, food expenditures get the biggest share of their income.

The food crisis is a reflection of the seriously-flawed socio-economic structures besetting the country. Government’s reliance on imports while neglecting the development of our grains industry and irrigation system, among others, shows its insincerity in making the lives of people better.

The National Food Authority (NFA) role, for instance, to directly procure palay from farmers has been diminishing over the years. Instead of providing direct support to the farmers, the agency opts to rely on imports because these assure them of higher revenues.

NFA is not doing the right thing, nor doing things right when it comes to agency mandate on food security. This would mean that NFA is “Not Feasible Agency” for the country’s food balance.

So the nasty question about the Rice and Fool of food supply remains: is there really a rice crisis or is the shortage artificial?

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