DA chief eyes rice silos to boost NFA storage

MANILA -- Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel PiAol is considering purchasing modern silos, or huge structures used to store bulky grain materials, to address the National Food Authority's (NFA) grain storage problem.

"We have to decide whether to put up silos," PiAol said Saturday.

The agriculture chief said he's already looking into the matter, noting that NFA's buffer stocks must be good for at least 60 days so the agency needs additional storage.

NFA Administrator Jason Aquino said the food agency's existing warehouses could store stocks good for only 22 days.

PiAol said putting up silos where the NFA mainly buys palay or unmilled rice will increase the agency's storage capacity.

He added that using silos will also improve NFA's storage operations, since the stored palay would be the ones withdrawn first, ensuring freshness of grains for milling.

"The warehouse idea is outdated, if NFA will increase its stocks, we must modernize its storage system," PiAol said.

Created in 1972 as National Grains Authority, NFA is the government agency tasked to provide adequate supply of affordable rice and corn while ensuring reasonable return rates for Filipino farmers.

PiAol has confirmed the return of NFA, Philippine Coconut Authority as well as Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority to DA.

The agriculture chief assured the immediate implementation of several initial interventions to address the agency's most pressing concerns. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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