“There is no reason to panic. We are expecting that rice prices will normalize in a few days, as palay harvest is starting, particularly in major rice producing provinces,” Secretary Alcala said. The harvest season was expected to be this coming October, and some farmers have already started reaping palay in their own farms during the past weeks, especially in the northern part of the country. DA officials visited Isabela to see farmers harvesting palay. Isabela was expected to produce more than 167,700 metric tons this September, while the entire Cagayan Valley region was expected to harvest 264,700 MT of palay from over 61,450 hectares this third quarter.
National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Orlan Calayag said “the NFA inventory is bigger this year, compared to the same period last year, and so we don’t foresee any shortage.” This means that rice would still be affordable, or would even have lower prices. The government also warned groups who were manipulating prices and supply of rice to beware.
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