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NFA 7: Additional rice supply to arrive by Q1

Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - February 7, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The National Food Authority in Central Visayas expects the arrival of additional rice supply from national importation within the first quarter of this year.  

Olma Marie Bayno, information officer at NFA-7, said yesterday the region's stocks for the staple grain as of Feb. 1 stood at around 1 million bags. Stocks were deemed to be sufficient.

For the month of January, the agency sold a total of 87,122 bags of NFA rice to its accredited retailers, she told The FREEMAN.

For the whole 2016, NFA-7 was able to distribute around 1.8 million bags of NFA rice, she added.

The Philippines still has a standby import authority of 250,000 metric tons more worth of rice.

Central Visayas is getting a share from the additional rice imports.

The 250,000-MT standby import authority is part of the 500,000-MT standby authority previously approved by the government.

The other 250,000-MT portion of the import authority was awarded to Thailand and Vietnam, the world's top rice sellers, in August last year under government-to-government purchasing agreement. Thailand offered to supply 100,000 MT while Vietnam supplied the remaining 150,000 MT.

One MT is equivalent to 20 bags. Per bag contains 50 kilograms of rice.

Currently, NFA-7 has a total of 1,801 accredited rice retailers in the whole region, 842 are in Cebu.

NFA rice is still being sold at P27 per kilogram for 25 percent brokens and P32 per kilogram for 15 percent brokens.

NFA has to beef up its food security stocks to maintain the mandated 30-day inventory level during the lean months.

The additional rice imports are part of the state’s contingency supply to prevent the staple’s possible scarcity due to the possible effect of natural disasters on rice production.

The Philippines remains one of the world’s biggest rice buyers. (FREEMAN)

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