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Senator Imee Marcos has assured rice farmers that the government need not import rice until next year  because local supply will surpass consumer demand and make the issuance of new import clearances unnecessary.

“The DA (Department of Agriculture) has no reason to call for any more rice imports which will only push down farmgate prices of palay. Our farmers are doing a great job producing more than ample domestic supply,” she said.

“Also, there are no remaining valid sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPS-ICs) to justify more rice imports this year,” Marcos added, citing the DA’s Rice Supply Outlook.

Marcos explained that the projected 5.13 million metric tons (mmt) of locally grown rice in the third quarter will exceed domestic demand of 3.7mmt and provide a buffer stock of 1.43mmt by the end of September.

In the fourth quarter, local rice supply is expected to reach 6.24mmt against demand of 4.02mmt, for an additional buffer stock of 2.22mmt by the end of December.

In effect, rice harvests in the third and fourth quarters will provide the country with a total buffer stock of 3.65 million metric tons by yearend, good for 55 to 60 days.

The National Food Authority is required to have a rice buffer stock of 15 to 30 days for national consumption.