President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. called on the National Food Authority (NFA) to follow his lead on prioritizing agricultural modernization as he acknowledged the initiatives of the agency in stabilizing the country’s staple food supply.

In a message read by Department of Agriculture (DA) Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban during the NFA’s 51st anniversary celebration, the President hailed the NFA for its modernization program and expressed hope that it would complement the Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines Project, or Project SARAI.

“I share with you our high hopes in the success of Project SARAI, or the Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines Project. Through this, we will be intensifying our efforts in providing smart and sustainable solutions for a more productive and proactive farming,” the President said in his message.

“I am optimistic in the positive impacts that will be carried out by the NFA Modernization Program,” he added.

Project SARAI aims to develop a national crop forecasting and monitoring system for nine priority crops, which are: rice, corn, banana, coconut, coffee, cacao, sugarcane, tomato, and soybean. It also serves as a source for the measurable, verifiable, and connected gathering of procurement data to improve NFA warehouse management and accounting.

With the NFA Modernization Program, the agency plans to build facilities and pursue developments, including post-harvest storage and processing facilities towards a 100-day buffer stock target, rice fortification, and non-grains supply chain support facilities. The NFA also intends to transition to renewable energy sources, such as biomass and solar batteries, for enhanced power generation.

During the event, the President acknowledged the NFA for faithfully serving the country by assuring stability, affordability, and safety of staple food supplies for over five decades. 

“I extend my warmest congratulations and greetings to the officials and employees of the National Food Authority as we commemorate your 51st Anniversary,” President Marcos said. 

During the event, the NFA also conducted a ceremonial signing of the NFA’s credit lines with the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines. 
“May this 51st anniversary celebration reinvigorate the drive to continue fulfilling the NFA’s mandate of maintaining sufficient rice buffer stock sourced from our local farmers,” President Marcos said. | PND