The policymaking council of the National Food Authority (NFA) has approved the standby authority of the agency to import 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice to ramp up its depleting buffer stock.
The decision came after a meeting was held by officials of the agency, wherein the council has decided to import rice through an open tender scheme or competitive bidding with the private sector.
According to an official, shipments are expected to arrive by June, adding that consumers may have to wait for cheaper rice for the next three months.
The state-run grains agency has been drawing flak since it announced that it only had two days’ worth of milled rice in its stock – its lowest monthly holding in 10 years.
The NFA is required to maintain a buffer stock of at least 15 days’ worth of consumption at any given time. /cbb
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