The inspection team composed of personnel from the National Food Authority (NFA), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and the Philippine National Police Regional Intelligence Unit checked on the stocks of warehouses and looked on their inventory.
The group also checked on the warehouse of NFA and noted that the buffer stock imported from Thailand will last until December this year.
NFA officials admitted they have difficulty buying from farmers its needed stock since the price of middlemen is very much higher than NFA. In July this year, the buying price of middlemen reached P27.00 per kilo of fresh palay. NFA now buys at P20.00 a kilo of dried palay.
Warehouse owners told the inspectorate team that there is no hoarding of rice or repacking NFA rice in the province that they know of. They said there is no way of stocking palay in their warehouses as they are into buy and sell business and they sell their stocks immediately outside the province to take advantage of the prevailing prices.
The present trend in palay marketing is that it is the middlemen and millers from Isabela who come to buy the produce right at the farm. These big time buyers provide famers the needed agricultural inputs, which in return entitle them to buy the produce minus the payment of fertilizers, weedicides and insecticides during harvest. (JDP/PAB-PIA CAR, Kalinga)