Price of rice seen to drop with arrival of NFA rice
THE public may soon see a lowering of prices for commercial rice as the unloading of the first shipment of rice imported by the National Food Authority (NFA) from Vietnam has started.
Olma Marie Bayno, Information Officer of NFA-7, said the cargo agent of the supplier committed to work on the unloading operations 24 hours a day.
“[With the availability of NFA rice in the market soon,] we can really expect the price of commercial rice to lower. However, we cannot say that the drop of the prices will be that much,” Bayno said in a phone interview with Cebu Daily News.
If the weather permits, Bayno said the unloading will only take seven days instead of 15.
As of 5 p.m. on Friday, 8,500 bags were already unloaded and moved to the NFA warehouse.
Bayno said they are waiting for all the 200,000 bags of rice to be unloaded so that they can allocate how many bags would be for retailing.
“We need everything to be fully accounted first. That is why we need to wait until everything is unloaded,” said Bayno.
The second vessel containing 7,000 metric tons or 140,000 bags of imported rice which arrived in Cebu on Thursday dawn is still in waters off Kawit Island as of press time.
Bayno said the cargo agent of the vessel is still securing the necessary discharge permits from the Bureau of Customs.
Bayno said the docking of the vessel might also be delayed because of the lack of berthing space at the port, thus it is possible that it might have to wait until the first cargo ship finishes unloading the NFA rice.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA-7) assured that the income of local farmers will not be impaired.
“Supply of NFA rice only serves as buffer stocks, especially during lean months, when we couldn’t expect any harvest of rice from our local farmers,” DA-7 information officer Cheryl dela Victoria said.
Dela Victoria also said that NFA plans to increase the buying price of rice from local farmers, in order to increase their income.
“As of the moment, NFA has set the buying price of rice at P17 per kilo,” she added.
She clarified that Central Visayas is not a rice yielding region, and only contributes 21 percent of the country’s production of rice.
“We are also continuing our “Bigasan ng Masa” program, wherein DA-7 imports rice from Bohol to sell it to consumers at very low price,” she said,
During this activity, special premium rice is sold at only P48 per kilo, P44 per kilo for well-milled rice, P38 per kilo for under-milled rice, P40 per kilo for brown rice and P70 per kilo for Black or pigmented rice.
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