ANTIPOLO CITY – The Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food, Inc. (PCAFI) on Friday lauded President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s directive to the National Food Authority (NFA) to focus on local production, stressing that surges in the price of rice can be solved by increasing domestic production.

In an interview, PCAFI director Elias Jose Inciong said the group’s membership welcomes the president’s directive affirming that the long-term stability of rice supply and price is anchored on helping local farmers become more productive.

“For decades, economic managers have held the notion that they can ensure food security by importation. We are glad that the president is departing from this, but a lot needs to be done in terms of changing old policies,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Inciong, who is also the president of the United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA), said because the country has become accustomed on food imports, it is very vulnerable to international supply and price fluctuations.

Besides giving more focus on local production, President Marcos has also directed concerned agencies to monitor the supply of rice nationwide, while expressing optimism that ongoing harvests in Nueva Ecija, Isabela and North Cotabato would help address supply deficits.

Marcos said rice prices would only stabilize if the commodity’s supply increased, and ample reserves can be maintained. (PNA)