NFA buffer stocking allocation hiked

The Department of Budget and Management on Tuesday announced that it has increased the allocated budget for the Buffer Stocking Program of the National Food Authority.

DBM said the action was made in a bid to ensure sufficient rice supply in the country in times of global food crisis, unforeseen emergencies and calamities.

In a statement, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said the funding for the Buffer Stocking Program almost doubled from P7 billion in this year’s budget to P12 billion in the proposed budget for 2023.

“By increasing the budgetary allocation for the Buffer Stocking Program, we are stressing the importance of ensuring food affordability, especially rice, which is a staple food for Filipinos,” Pangandaman said.

“This is also our strategic plan for food security in times of crisis since our country is prone to natural calamities,” she added.

Under the proposed 2023 National Budget, the provision for buffer stock capacity has increased from 9 days to 15 days.

The allocated P12 billion budget for the Buffer Stocking Program seeks to procure 631,579 metric tons of palay from local farmers.

The DBM added that there is an allocation of P0.67 billion for the purchase of high-quality rice and corn seeds for seed buffer stocking under the Department of Agriculture.

“This is to ensure enough supply of seeds to be used during calamities and emergencies affecting rice and corn production,” the agency stated.

For the fiscal year 2023, the Marcos administration has allotted a total of P184.1 billion for the agriculture sector — a substantial increase of 39.2 percent from its 2022 allocation — to ensure food security and agricultural productivity.

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