NEDA says beefing up 'agri supply chain' key to keep inflation 'stable, low'


Posted at Sep 04 2020 02:13 PM

A woman from the Monamon Norte Federation of Irrigators Association tends to their stall at the Harvest to Goodness weekend market in Eastwood, Quezon City on July 17, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN Newse/File

MANILA – Improving the country's agriculture supply chain is necessary to ensure that inflation remains "low and stable" despite the COVID-19 pandemic and looming typhoons, the National Economic and Development Authority said Friday.

Philippine inflation decelerated to 2.7 percent in August from 2.7 percent in July, due mainly to the slower price movements of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

“As we continuously implement varying levels of community quarantines and localized lockdowns in the country, we need the government and the private sector to tap local agricultural produce and maximize the use of digital technologies to ensure stability in the supply chain,” Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said. 

Effective supply chain management can also boost buffer stock, prevent wastage and spoilage, and minimize farmers' losses, he said.

Investments in cold storage facilities, innovation in food packaging and processing are also needed, he added.

Pre-emptive preparations in disaster-prone areas and other recovery programs are needed to mitigate possible losses and quick responses during the rainy season, the agency said. 

Metro Manila and several other areas remain under general community quarantine until Sept. 30. Easing restrictions allowed more businesses to operate. 

Lockdowns and stricter restrictions have earlier hampered movement of agricultural products to and from Metro Manila.