Rice supply enough for lean months

LAOAG CITY, June 9 – The National Food Authority (NFA) said the province’s current rice stock is sufficient to cover the lean months from June to September.

Dr. Beverlyn Peralta, NFA manager in Ilocos Norte, said the province’s stockpile of 559,000 rice bags, which are stored in various NFA, commercial and private warehouses, will answer for the province’s rice needs until the end of September.

Peralta, who guested during the PIA’s Pannakiuman, Isyu ken Aksyon (PIA) weekly radio program at the DWFB Radyo ng Bayan, said the province’s rice consumption is pegged at 4,400 bags per day.

“Residents have nothing to worry about (even when the rice inventory is consumed) because farmers will start to harvest palay crops in late August of early September,” she said.

In addition, Peralta said the NFA provincial office expects some 60,000 bags of imported rice from Vietnam in July to augment the province’s rice supply requirement especially during calamities.

Vietnam rice costs higher than the regular–milled local NFA rice at P32 per kilogram and P27 per kilogram respectively. However, Vietnam rice is priced lower price than the commercial rice in the province at P39 to P40 per kilo.

“Normally, residents still prefer the (commercial) rice from NFA not only because it is cheaper than the imported Vietnam rice but also because of its quality,” she said.

At present, NFA rice per bag (50 kilograms) costs P1, 200 while a bag of commercial rice costs P2, 000.

Meanwhile, Peralta encouraged the farmers to sell their palay to NFA to replenish the latter’s stockpile and sustain the province’s rice requirements.

“Our stockpile is sufficient even without importing as long as we will not export our rice products and no calamities will ravage our province,” she said.( FREDDIE G. LAZARO with reports from Kathrine Jessica G. Calano)