National Food Authority (Philippines)
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|National Food Authority|
|Pambansang Pangasiwaan ng Pagkain|
|Formed||September 26, 1972|
|Headquarters||North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City|
|Parent Agency||Department of Agriculture|
The Philippines' National Food Authority (Filipino: Pambansang Pangasiwaan ng Pagkain, abbreviated as NFA), is an agency of the Philippine government under the Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring the food security of the Philippines and the stability of supply and price of rice, the Philippines' staple grain.
The National Food Authority was created through Presidential Decree No. 4 dated September 26, 1972, under the name National Grains Authority, (NGA) with the mission of promoting the integrated growth and development of the grains industry covering rice, corn, feed grains and other grains like sorghum, mung beans, and peanuts. This decree abolished two agencies, namely, the Rice and Corn Board (RICOB) and the Rice and Corn Administration (RCA) and absorbed their respective functions into the NFA. The former was then regulating the rice and corn retail trade and was tasked to nationalize it within a target date. The latter was marketed and distributed government low-priced rice especially during lean months. In addition, the new agency was vested with additional functions aimed at developing post-harvest systems and processes.
Among others, the NGA supported the paddy production program of the government referred to as the Masagana’99 Program, which was geared toward rice self-sufficiency. It engaged in massive paddy procurement at government support prices, and with limited volume, the country joined the family of rice exporting countries from 1977 to 1981.
On January 14, 1981, Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1770 renamed the NGA and established the National Food Authority (NFA), further widening the agency’s social responsibilities and commodity coverage to include, in addition to grains, other food items like raw or fresh fruits and vegetables and fish and marine, manufactured, processed, or packaged food products, and these were collectively referred to as non-grains commodities. This law was the basis of the Kadiwa stores or government retail stores, which sold low-priced basic food and household items which were established within the National Capital Region and in all the provinces of the Philippines.
On May 31, 1985, Executive Order No. 1028 provided for the deregulation of NFA’s non-grains marketing activities, specifically terminating NFA’s non-grains trading activities, returning feedgrains and wheat importation to the private sector, and lifting price controls on rice and corn. As such, at the end of 1986, all the Kadiwa Stores had sold or closed.
Today, the National Food Authority is charge with ensuring the food security of the country and the stability of supply and price of the staple grain-rice. It performs these functions through various activities and strategies, which include procurement of paddy from individual farmers and their organizations, buffer stocking, processing activities, dispersal of paddy and milled rice to strategic locations and distribution of the staple grain to various marketing outlets at appropriate times of the year.
In recent years, in response to globalization and to the efforts to reduce the national budget deficit, the government has been looking into the possibility of restructuring, streamlining or privatizing certain activities of the NFA.