By Madelaine B. Miraflor
With barely three months left before the year ends, the inventory for the Philippines’ two main staple food is still suffering from a downtrend, which was mainly prolonged by Typhoon Ompong, the most destructive typhoon to hit the country in years as far as the farm sector is concerned.
As of September, the country’s rice and corn stocks inventory are down 18 percent and 63 percent year-on-year, respectively, a data from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
For rice, the total stock inventory stood at 1.2 million metric tons (MT), which is 17.91 percent below the previous year’s level of 1.42 million MT. Compared to August’s inventory level of 1.5 million MT, the September figure is 23.19 percent lower.
Compared to the previous year, rice stocks in National Food Authority (NFA) depositories increased by 69.52 percent, thanks to the arrival of imported stocks.
However, stocks in households and commercial warehouses decreased by 11.44 percent and 33.64 percent, respectively.
Of September’s total rice stocks inventory, more than half were from the households, 38.25 percent from commercial warehouses, and the remaining 9.51 percent were from NFA depositories. The latter comprised 91.57 percent of the imported rice.
As for corn, the total corn stocks inventory was 531,000 MT. This was 62.66 percent lower than the last year’s record of 531.07 thousand metric tons and down by 56.54 percent compared to previous month’s stock level.
Year-on-year, corn stocks inventory in the households and commercial warehouses decreased by 14.35 percent and 68.61 percent, respectively. There were no corn stocks in NFA depositories as of September.
Seen to pull down the growth of the entire agriculture sector for this year, Typhoon Ompong incurred damage worth P27 billion to the sector.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said this is already the highest damage the agriculture sector had to endure next to the P35 billion worth of losses recorded in 2013 after Typhoon Yolanda hit the country.
Among the commodities, rice and corn recorded the highest damage and losses.