Representatives from India's Ministry of Agriculture visited the National Food Authority recently to study its methodology in conducting Commercial Stock Survey (CSS) and mandates. The Philippines is the only country among ASEAN nations that conducts the CSS.
The group of 15 agriculture officers from India, led by Ms. Pushpa Thottan, adviser of the Price and Market Division of India's Ministry of Agriculture, is in the country to strengthen their Agricultural Market Information Systems (AMIS) project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation being implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization - India.
Ms. Erlinda D. Causon, division chief of the NFA's Market Research and Statistics Division, explained how NFA conducts the survey to determine the apparent grains stock inventory for rice held by the commercial sector, which serves as inputs vital to policy and decision-making in the government. This survey method was recognized as official government statistics by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) since January 1980.
From the NFA's list of 55,928 registered grains businessmen, about 10,059 pre-determined sample respondents are interviewed nationwide. A personal interview survey is conducted twice a month by the NFA's enforcement and investigation officers among retailers, wholesalers, combined retailers/wholesalers, and warehousemen.
NFA's spokesperson Angel Imperial Jr. facilitated the meeting and apprised the foreign agriculture officials on NFA's mandates. Meanwhile, Grains Marketing Operations Department Assistant Director Dolores Fernandez explained NFA's maintenance of buffer stocks equivalent to 15 days at any given time of the year except at the end of June wherein the NFA must have stocks equivalent to 30 days to prepare for the lean months from July until September.
Source: Philippine Information Agency